Emergency warming shelter packed on bitter cold nights - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Emergency warming shelter packed on bitter cold nights

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The cold weather is forcing many to seek shelter. The bitter cold temperatures are brutal for some people and it feels even worse when you factor in the wind chill.

"Everybody is dealing with it," Spencer Stanhope, who is just passing through Cincinnati. "If you're outside, you're dealing with it and we're outside."

The city has opened an emergency warming shelter for the second night in a row, where folks who have nowhere else to go to catch a break from the dangerous cold.

Dangerous is the operative word here, especially for the folks who were lined-up on Republic Street in Over-The-Rhine, huddled together waiting for the doors of the warming shelter to open at 10 PM.

They've all gone inside to defrost. The dangers of frostbite and hypothermia are very real and can happen to you in just minutes.

The body parts most affected are the nose, ears, cheeks, fingers, and toes. If you are older, overweight, have allergies or poor circulation, or if you smoke or drink alcohol, these factors put you more at-risk.

In many cases, people have no idea it's happening, until it's too late. First signs are, you will feel uncomfortably cold and then numb.

Folks who slept there last night told us they were grateful they could escape the cold for the night.

"it was very calm," said Silvia Collins, who went to the warming shelter right after getting off work. "Very peaceful, no trouble, and it was warm, that was the point, because people would have froze to death."

"We're all spread around in a circle," Stanhope said of his sleeping conditions inside the shelter. "So that's how it was, it was a hard floor, but it was a very warm building, was very thankful, grateful."

"We gotta get used to it, it's all I can say,"Collins said. "It's here, deal with it."

So, what is the most important article of clothing? Your hat. You can lose up to 40-percent of your body heat when your head is not covered-up, so use your head and put a hat on!

About 75 people slept there Sunday night and the shelter tells us, they're expecting a full-house again Monday night. 

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