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Warming stations open; temp on the rise

By Leanne Fuller lfuller@paducahsun.com

Five warming stations were open Sunday night and Monday with temperatures in the single digits, but few people showed up to take advantage.

The McCracken County Courthouse, Washington Street Baptist Church in Paducah and Spring Bayou Baptist Church in Kevil served as McCracken County Office of Emergency Management warming stations beginning Sunday evening.

"Everything went well. We had about five persons to stay last night - five or six," Rev. Ray Henderson of Washington Street Baptist Church said Monday.

Closing time was scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday, but Henderson said the church allowed the visitors to stay later because it was so cold outside and many of them had no other place to go.

The church was also scheduled to serve as a warming station Monday evening. Although Henderson had anticipated more visitors on Sunday night, he expected five or six people would use the warming station Monday night.

"We're set up and ready to handle at least 15, so we're just playing it by ear," Henderson said.

Leah Tipton, wife of Rev. Terry Tipton, said no one used the warming station at Spring Bayou Baptist Church.

The church was authorized as a McCracken OEM warming station from 6 a.m. Sunday through 6 a.m. Monday.

Tipton said she hadn't expected many people to use the Spring Bayou warming station because the church didn't see any visitors when it was designated as a warming station during the snow and ice storm that hit the region in early December.

Henderson said he believes getting the word out about warming stations to those who would benefit from them is a challenge.

The pastor added that folks who want to volunteer at Washington Street Baptist Church are welcome to call the church office.

"We certainly do need them," he said.

The McCracken County Rescue Vehicle Building on Coleman Road was also available as a warming station starting Monday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., as was Reidland Baptist Church on Benton Road in Paducah from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Those having to venture out today may be glad to hear that a warming trend is predicted for the rest of the week.

According to Paducah National Weather Service meteorological technician Dave Purdy, today is forecast to be sunny with a high of 20 degrees, with clear conditions tonight and a low around 19.

Purdy cautioned that wind chill will be -9 degrees today. The high Monday, on the other hand, was about 7 with a wind chill of -14.

He said no other day this week is expected to see significantly low wind chills.

For Wednesday, Purdy said, a 20 percent chance of snow is forecast with a high around 35. A 40 percent chance of snow is forecast for Wednesday night with a low around 29.

Purdy said a 50 percent chance of wintry mix is predicted for Thursday with a high around 36, and a 50 percent chance of rain is predicted for Thursday night with a low around 31.

Friday's high is forecast at 45 degrees with about a 50 percent chance of rain.

"Pretty much a steady warm-up throughout the week, but, really, we don't have any other way to go from here," Purdy said.

Contact Leanne Fuller, a Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8653.

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