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Wintry, frigid temps mean local shelters go into emergency mode

Updated: Wednesday, January 1 2014, 09:55 PM CST
Reported by: Kyle Rogers

HARRISBURG -- As frigid temperatures are expected to drop the mercury on Harrisburg thermometers, a local shelter is preparing to take in homeless guests who need a warm place to stay.

Staff at Bethesda Mission along North Sixth and Reilly streets have cots stacked up and ready to lay out in a makeshift living area inside the organization's chapel.

"You don't want to see people sitting out there in the cold," said Simon Randolph, a house supervisor with the local mission. 

He said one man has already sought shelter Wednesday night to escape the cold weather. Bethesda Mission is operating in hazardous weather mode Wednesday night. Officials expect to temporarily provide shelter in the coming days. 

"It makes us feel good to know that we have a place that somebody can come and lay their head and get out of the cold," said Randolph. 

While the strawberry dropped in Harrisburg at the stroke of midnight, the temperatures are about to do the same, according to weather forecasters. 
Geico officials urge drivers to take steps to winterize their vehicles before the big cold comes.

They suggest drivers check their car battery to make sure it does not have any corrosion. With the predicted snow also comes slush and mud that can build up on vehicles' windshields and officials suggest windshield wiper fluid be added. As always, Geico hopes drivers will check out their car tires before making the drive, to see if they can properly grip on to the roadway. 

While the streets remain clear Wednesday night, forecasters predict the snow to fall late Thursday afternoon.

Only days away from the Pennsylvania Farm Show, participants are already ahead of the game by preparing stalls and barns for their animals. 

One man who raises livestock told CBS 21 News that the cold weather is normal for him and his animals. 

The only problem he anticipates could be the preferences some farm show participants have when it comes to leaving the doors open overnight. He said the temperature always fluctuates inside the barns. 

The burst of cold air is expected Thursday and Friday. Forecasters predict similar temperatures early next week. Wintry, frigid temps mean local shelters go into emergency mode

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