Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 8, 2014

Chill breaks area record

By ANNE ELGIN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — A new record low of 8 degrees below zero was recorded Tuesday for the Bluefield area. But a slow warming trend will begin today, according to meteorologists.

The previous record low for Bluefield was a zero degree reading set in 1970.

“The region will begin to see warmer temperatures (today) in the lower to mid 30s throughout the day with weekend temperatures warming up into the upper 50s,” Robert Stonefield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., said.

Normal temperatures will be returning in the middle of next week with highs around 42 degrees, Stonefield said.

Area rescue squads and the Bluefield Union Mission are also providing help to those who need a place to stay warm.

The Princeton Rescue Squad can house about 10 people but will not turn anyone away that needs help, squad chief executive officer Stacy Hicks said.

“We have had a few calls from people looking for a place to get warm and have also had a couple people come into the shelter,” Hicks said.

The rescue squad has been busy with calls and well-being checks.

“The weather does complicate things,” Hicks said “Our trucks are in good condition but things don’t like to work when it’s 8 below zero outside. We will be here to help as long as the need is there.”

The Bluefield Union Mission has also seen a steady crowd of people during the past couple days.

“We have housed 21 people in shelters throughout Mercer, McDowell and Tazewell counties,” Craig Hammond, director of the mission, said.

The mission is also handing out “winter warm up kits,” a kit which includes a hat, gloves, socks, hand warmers and a mylar blanket, Hammond said.

Coats, hats, scarves, gloves, blankets and bags of groceries are also among the popular items being handed out to help people stay warm.

The Bluefield Virginia Rescue Squad is also available as a shelter and for people to warm up and get out of the cold, squad administrator Jason Kinser said.

For more information on a shelter location please call the Bluefield Union Mission at 304-327-8167 or Mercer County 911 non- emergency at 304-425-8911

— Contact Anne Elgin at aelgin@bdtonline.com