Schools Remain Closed – Rochester Warming Center Sees Record Use
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News - Today’s frigid cold set at least one weather record in Rochester. While the overnight low of -29 did not topple the record of -40 set in 1951, this afternoon’s high temperature of 19-degrees below zero established a new record for the coldest high temperature on January 30th. The old record of -11 was set in 1996. It’s possible the overnight low could set a new record for January 31st with the forecast predicting the mercury might fall to -32. The current record set 1918 is 31-degrees below zero.
The National Weather Service has continued the wind chill warning through 10 AM on Thursday, which has prompted the Rochester Public Schools and others in the region to cancel classes for a fourth straight day.
The ongoing cold blast has created record demand for the services by the Rochester Salvation Army. The charitable organization says its downtown Rochester warming center served a record high 38 homeless individuals and two dogs between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning as temperatures fell to nearly 30-degrees below zero and the wind chills dropped into the 55 to 60-degree range.
The overnight guests enjoyed donated meals from Pasquale’s, People’s Food Coop, the Canadian Honker and the Mayo Clinic that were delivered by the Rochester Fire Department. Rochester Mayor Kim Norton also made a visit to learn about the program.
“We’re so grateful for the support we’ve had from this community, whether it be the food donated every night, or the time given by the volunteers that make this program possible,” said Alex Hurlebaus, Case Worker & Warming Center Coordinator at the Rochester Salvation Army, “We are always looking for more people willing to volunteer to help run the warming center. The greatest gift you can give to our warming center guests is your time.”
The Salvation Army plans to keep the warming center open continuously until the end of the day Thursday.