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Warming shelters opening for ice storm

Post Date:01/14/2017 6:22 PM

Emergency warming shelters will open at 8 p.m. this evening to provide space for Harvey County residents who are unable to remain at home because of the ice storm.

The shelters are being established to provide warmth for residents without power. Residents using the shelters must be prepared to be self-sufficient, as no services will be provided at the shelters. Those who utilize the shelters should bring bedding such as blankets and sleeping bags or air mattresses, food for the duration of their stay, medications and identification.

The following shelters are available in Harvey County:

  • New Hope Homeless Shelter, 900 W. Broadway, Newton
  • New Jerusalem Mission, 209 E. Broadway, Newton
  • Salem United Methodist Church, 115 N. Old Main, Newton
  • Burrton United Methodist Church, 203 N. Burrton Ave., Burrton
  • Halstead High School, 520 W. Sixth St., Halstead
  • Hesston City Hall, 115 E. Smith, Hesston
  • Sedgwick Senior Center, 105 W. Fifth St., Sedgwick
  • Walton Fire Station, 100 First Ave., Walton

Information about the shelters is available by calling 211. If you have special needs or additional questions, call 316-284-6877.

The National Weather Service is predicting a total storm accumulation of ½ to 1 inch of ice, most of which is expected to fall as freezing rain after midnight. Power outages are expected.

In the meantime, city and county officials strongly encourage residents to remain at home, indoors, and take the following measures to protect themselves and others:

  • If you have to leave home, use caution when driving as traffic signals may be out, and power lines and tree limbs down on roadways.
  • Check on neighbors, elderly and disabled individuals who may be home alone.
  • Keep a flashlight, battery-operated radio and extra batteries close at hand.
  • Do not attempt to remove tree limbs near power lines. 

To report a power outage or downed lines:

  • All customers are asked to call Westar Energy at 800-544-4857 to report any power outages. Outages can also be reported online at www.westarenergy.com.
  • Customers can stay updated about outages and predicted restoration times on Westar’s website or by texting REG to 97827.
  • Residents with power are asked to keep a porch light on to assist crews in locating which areas of the county have power and which do not.
  • Downed power lines should always be treated as if they are live. Never touch a downed line and call 911 to report it. Local crews will be marking downed power lines with cones and tape if they can’t be removed immediately.

For those without power:

  • Minimize living quarters to a small area, preferably near a heat source such as a fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • If using a space heater or other heat source, make sure it’s intended for home heating and ensure proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

To provide relief to 911 center staff, please use the following phone numbers to communicate information:

  • 911 for emergencies only.
  • 800-544-4857 to notify Westar Energy of an electrical outage.
  • 211 for information about emergency shelters and 316-284-6877 for additional shelter information or to request transportation.

 

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