FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
With 2-4 inches of snow and historic -30-degree windchills predicted for Thursday through Saturday, several public agencies gathered Tuesday to remind Springfield-area residents how they can prepare for and stay safe during severe winter weather.
Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management Director Larry Woods reminded residents that preparedness is key ahead of severely cold weather.
“Make sure residences and vehicles are winterized, because as we know, nothing works well when it’s this cold. Consider modifying your travel plans and definitely limit your exposure to this weather. Frostbite and hypothermia can happen very quickly,” he said.
Roadways and utilities
The City’s Public Works Department and MODOT will have snowplow trucks loaded with salt and prepared to treat roadways for this winter weather event. The agencies will watch the forecast and will pretreat roadways as long as rain is not forecasted prior to the snow. The agencies encourage residents to stay home and off the roadways if at all possible. City Utilities’ spokesman Joel Alexander said CU crews will be on-site and ready to respond rapidly to outages.
Home heating safety
The Springfield Fire Department reminded the public of steps to take to stay safe during the coming winter weather, and during the winter months:
- Install working smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom.
- Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
- Never leave a space heater unattended.
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, or space heaters.
- Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) directly into an electrical outlet at a time. DO NOT use power strips or surge protectors.
- If using kerosene space heaters, use in a well-ventilated area, use only 1-K fuel, and never fuel your heater indoors, while the heater is in operation, or is still hot from operation.
- Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents every year.
- Store cooled ashes from your fireplace in a tightly covered metal container and keep it outside at least 10 feet from your home and any nearby buildings.
Crisis Cold Weather Shelters
Community Partnership of the Ozarks Vice President Michelle Garand said the number of crisis cold weather shelters is doubling Thursday-Saturday in light of the forecast. Use the sheltersgf app for up-to-the-minute updates on shelter availability, visit https://cpozarks.org/programs/ccws/ or follow the Crisis Cold Weather Shelter Updates Facebook group.
There are six overnight shelters in Springfield that open when temperatures are predicted to be 32 degrees or colder. The Connecting Grounds’ church building serves as an overnight shelter for four families every night through April, regardless of the temperature.
Those needing shelter should come to Grace United Methodist Church at 600 S. Jefferson Ave. between 5 and 6 p.m. Thursday-Sunday or Springfield Expo Center at 635 E St Louis St starting at 12pm on Thursday and 7am on Friday and Saturday. A hot meal is provided, and buses will transport to the shelters at 6:30 p.m. The shelters and their capacities are listed below.
- East Sunshine Church of Christ can serve up to 50 men.
- Grace United Methodist Church can serve up to 20 women.
- Asbury United Methodist Church can serve up to 35 individuals and pets.
- Unity of Springfield Church can serve up to 22 individuals.
- Sacred Heart Catholic Church can serve up to 25 men.
- Eden Village I community building can serve up to 25 individuals and pets.
- YouthConnect Center can serve up to 8 youth aged 13-18.
- The Salvation Army Harbor House
- The Venues 2616 E. Battlefield
- National Avenue Christian Church 1515 S. National with room for 50.
- St. John's Episcopal Church 515 E. Division
- St. John's United Church of Christ 1110 N. Main
In light of the forecast, the following churches have agreed to serve as supplemental shelters Thursday- Saturday. The shelters and their capacities are listed below. Some of the shelters will be open for daytime shelter as well.
- St. John’s Chapel at 4344 S. Fremont Ave., will serve as an all-gender shelter for up to 15 people Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
- Brentwood Christian Church at 1900 E. Barataria St. will serve as an all-gender shelter for up to 20 individuals and pets. Brentwood will allow them to stay during the day on Friday and Saturday.
- 425 (The Venues) at 425 W. Walnut will serve as an all-gender shelter for up to 20 on Thursday and Saturday nights.
- Freedom City Church, 1477 N. Broadway will serve as a shelter for up to 20.
Available Day Warming Centers
Springfield Expo Center – The Connecting Grounds (635 E St Louis St)
- 7am – 7pm Thursday – Saturday (Dec. 23-24)
- Will open at 12pm on Thursday
Springfield-Greene County Libraries
- All libraries are closed Saturday Dec. 24, Sunday Dec. 25, and Monday Dec. 26.
- Thursday Dec. 22: 10am opening for all branches. The Library Center, Library Station, and Schweitzer Brentwood Branch are scheduled to close at 9pm. The Midtown Carnegie Branch and Park Central Branch close at 6pm.
- Friday Dec. 23 will likely be a 10am opening with Library Center, Library Station, and Schweitzer Brentwood scheduled to close at 8pm. Midtown and Park Central close at 6pm.
- Thursday and Friday may change as weather conditions change with libraries being closed early or entirely. Those decisions will be made as the weather progresses.
- 417-616-0587 is the Library Closing Hotline
Veterans Coming Home Center (806 N Jefferson Ave)
- 7am – 4:30pm Friday, (Dec. 23rd)
- 12pm – 4:30pm Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 24th - 25th)
Salvation Army (1707 W Chestnut Expressway)
- 8:30am – 4:30pm Thursday (Dec. 22 – 23rd)
Harbor House (636 N Boonville Ave.
- 10am – 4:30pm Friday – Sunday (Dec. 23 -25th)
Visit https://www.theconnectinggrounds.com/cold-weather-response if you would like to volunteer to staff the shelters.
This situation is fluid and further updates will be posted through the above. If you need further assistance, contact Emily Fessler at [email protected] or 417-888-2020 ext. 171
Check for Regular Daily Updates as information develops:
- Shelter SGF App o Free to download
- Crisis Cold Weather Shelter Facebook Page o Public Page
- Call 417-605-3007 for daily updates
This Springfield-Greene County Health Department will provide COVID prevention kits to area overnight cold weather shelters. These kits will help reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses within shelters. If you need access to these kits, please contact the Health Department at 417-874-1212.