Monroeville ready to open warming center, but only if needed
Monroeville will have a warming center during the cold snap, but only if there is a need.
The police department issued a Nixle alert Tuesday night that read: “Anyone who is in need of a warming center during low temps over the following (two) days can contact Monroeville Dispatch at 412-856-1111.”
Police Chief Doug Cole said the municipal center on Monroeville Boulevard served as the municipality’s warming center in years past.
“Zero people have come to them,” Cole said. “For the most part, our people have places to go our there in the suburbs.”
To cut down on the cost of staffing a warming center, Cole said people should call dispatch to express the need first, in which case the municipal building at 2700 Monroeville Blvd. will open to offer warmth.
“Right now they can’t just go and be there. They need to notify us and then we’ll staff it and open it,” Cole said.
Cole urged residents to call dispatch at 412-856-1111 if they need a warming center in Monroeville.
In an emergency, the municipality would open the Senior Citizen Center, the Monroeville Public Library or Gateway school buildings. Cole said that would happen in the event of power outages or arctic temperatures lasting for over 12 hours.
Cole said he encouraged the department’s patrol division to be on the lookout for those spending too much time outside.
“I told them if you see someone on patrol and in they’re in need, make sure you help them – common sense stuff like that that we do anyways,” he said.
The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory from Wednesday through 5 p.m. Thursday with wind chills reaching as far as 25 below zero and wind gusts reaching up to 35 mph. The weather service said frostbite can set in on exposed skin in these conditions in 30 minutes.
Schools in the area, including Gateway, closed on Jan. 30.
Warming centers are popping up all around the region, including a location in nearby Murrysville. Click here for a list of the places that are available.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, email@example.com or via Twitter @dillonswriting.