Cold weather shelters open across Tampa Bay area as NWS issues freeze warnings

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)—Cold weather shelters are opening up across Tampa Bay as freeze warnings are issued for Hernando and Citrus counties.

Chilly air will move into the Tampa Bay area on Wednesday night and stick around until Friday.

Temperatures will range from the high 20s to the high 30s, to at or below freezing.

“It’s not unprecedented, but it is unusual to be talking about freeze warnings in the Tampa Bay area in the second half of March,” said Storm Team 8 Chief Meteorologist Steve Jerve. “Spring officially begins on Monday and tomorrow morning will feel like the dead of winter for Florida.”

“Low temperatures tonight will likely be within a couple degrees of an old record set back in World War I – we don’t see cold like this, this late in the season very often.”

Most warnings will remain in effect until 9 a.m. on Thursday.

The following cold-weather shelters will be open in Hernando County:

Men’s Shelter
1090 Mondon Hill Road
Brooksville, FL 34605
Phone: (352) 799-2912, Ext. 103

Women’s Shelter
1163 Howell Ave.
Brooksville, FL 34601
Phone: (352) 799-2912, Ext. 109

Below are the locations open in Sarasota:

Sarasota Salvation Army Center of Hope
1400 10th St., Sarasota, FL 34236
The Salvation Army’s front porch opens at 4 p.m., with check-in expected to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Venice/North Port Grace United Methodist Church
400 Field Ave., East, Venice, FL 34285, opens at 6 p.m.
New Hope Community Church, 5600 S. Biscayne Drive, North Port, FL 34287, opens at 8 p.m.

The following shelters are open in Pinellas County:

Families will be places in family shelters on cold nights.  Families should call 211 to make these arrangements.

Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church – Primary Shelter (for adult men and women)
110 S. Ft. Harrison Ave., Clearwater, FL  33756

St. Cecelia Catholic Church – Back-up Shelter (for adult men and women, opens if Peace Memorial reaches capacity)
820 Jasmine Way, Clearwater, FL  33756

Northwest Presbyterian Church (for adult men and women)
6330 54th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL  33709

The Turning Point (for adult men and women)
1810 Fifth Ave N., St. Petersburg, FL 33713

Salvation Army (for adult men and women)
1400 Fourth St. S., St. Petersburg, FL  33701

Boys and Girls Club of the Suncoast in Pinellas Park (for adult men and women)
7790 61st St. N., Pinellas Park, FL  33781

First United Methodist Church of Tarpon Springs (for adult men and women)
501 E. Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs, FL  34689

And the following information is for those seeking shelter in Pasco County:

West Pasco (for families only)
Contact United Way 2-1-1

East Pasco (for families with children)
Call 352-437-4815 before 7:30 p.m.
Limited service available

Joining Hands Mission (Individuals only)
3333 US Hwy 19 North, Suite 1 Holiday
Phone 727-215-8084

Samaritan Project of Zephyrhills (Individuals must arrive between 5 and 7 pm)
5722 8th St, Zephyrhills
Phone: 813-810-8670

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office suggests those affected take the following precautions:

  • Cover or move plants that are sensitive to the cold indoors.
  • Do not leave pets outside in the cold weather.
  • Stay up to date with the latest weather information using the National Weather Service or media outlets like WFLA.com
  • Individuals that need to seek shelter from the cold may contact Jericho Road Ministries for assistance.

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