MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A bitter blast of arctic air could send wind chills 20 to 30 degrees below zero overnight. And a light dusting of snow is already causing big problems on Twin Cities freeways.

Traffic cameras showed numerous spinouts Monday night around the metro. The roads are slick despite less than an inch of snow.

We’ll endure another subzero morning on Tuesday, and it’ll feel even colder with the wind. Even without the wind, it hit minus-25 in Hibbing Monday morning. Rochester bottomed out at 20 degrees below zero.

And we sank to nine below here in the Twin Cities. The blast of cold air has many who have no place to call home searching for a place to warm up.

When the temperature drops below 10 degrees, the Salvation Army opens up warming centers as a refuge from the cold.  It’s what’s being done to protect the most vulnerable from the cold.

“It’s brutal,” said Vick Jones, a homeless man.

Dangerously cold temperatures have finally invaded the Twin Cities.

“Yesterday was the first day of that real cold snap and it was just so detrimental to the face and to the body,” said Jones.

This bitter blast of cold air is especially tough on the homeless.

“Imagine like razor blades just cutting your face that’s how cold it is outside,” said Abe Adtkins.

That’s why the Salvation Army is opening its doors.

“We have about a dozen shelters throughout the Twin Cities that we open up every time the weather gets cold,” said Dominick Bouza, operations director of The Harbor Light Center.

The Harbor Light Center in downtown Minneapolis is the only one of those shelters that stays open all day and night as a warming center during frigid weather.

“The numbers will increase over the next several days the weather is not going to change and people are going to get a little bit tired of it,” Bouza said.

It’s here people can escape the cold, grab something hot to drink or eat. Some will even sleep here.

Bouza says this is the time of year those nickels, dimes and quarters people donated during the holidays make a real impact in the lives of those living on very little.

“This is a great example of the money that is donated by Minnesotans between Thanksgiving to Christmas in our red kettle campaign. That really has an effect, it pays for the heat in this building so people can warm up in here,” Bouza said.

Bouza says a mural outside speaks volumes, need knows no season. He’s glad Minnesotans are so generous to a population that needs support 365 days a year.

With temperatures predicted to stay frigid for the rest of the week, the Salvation Army expects to help hundreds stay out of the cold. During daylight hours is when many need the help because they have nowhere to go.

These warming centers need hats, gloves, scarves and socks. We have a list of those centers if you’d like to help.

The following Salvation Army locations will allow people to come in and get warm, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

  • 2024 Lyndale Ave N, Minneapolis
  • 2727 Central Ave., Minneapolis
  • 1604 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, includes a free meal at 12 p.m., Monday through Friday, Closed until Jan. 12
  • 1019 Payne Ave, St. Paul, includes a free meal at 12 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • 401 W. 7th Street, St. Paul, includes a free breakfast at 7:30 a.m., Monday through Friday
  • 10011 Noble Parkway, Brooklyn Park
  • 10347 Ibis Street NW, Coon Rapids, includes a free meal 5:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday

Reg Chapman

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