WNYers wake up to bitter cold temps, wind chills


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Western New Yorkers are waking up to another day of bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills. Make sure you and your family members are bundled up before heading outside.

The cold is really putting a strain on shelters. When there’s a deep freeze like this, that means another Code Blue goes into effect.

The City Mission and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy have both opened their doors to people who need a warm place to sleep and a hot meal. The bitter cold is taking a toll on the shelters.

Thursday night was the 48th time a Code Blue has been issued since November, that’s already more than double the number from last winter.

A Code Blue is declared anytime the temperatures dip below 15 degrees. The shelters have seen record numbers of people come in, up to fifty people each night and that has put a strain on resources.

Code Blue Coordinator Drew Bernstein said, “There are times when we run out of cots. There are times when we run short on food. There are times when our resources are stretched to the max, especially in terms of personnel.”

“This is the worst winter in a generation. I can’t imagine that we’ve ever had a winter, certainly this many nights when it’s gotten this cold, that it’s gotten this bad.”

Men were lining up at St. Luke’s even before doors opened at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Bernstein, a Code Blue Coordinator, says even though it’s been cold, the hearts of the people in the community are as warm as the weather’s been cold. Because without their help they wouldn’t be able to serve so many people.

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