With temperatures expected to be at or below 32 degrees beginning Wednesday night, Longview has declared a severe weather event, which allows temporary cold weather shelters to open.

There are three temporary severe weather shelters permitted in Longview:

  • Love Overwhelming at 618 14th Ave.
  • First Christian Church at 2000 East Kessler Blvd.
  • The Baird House/St. Stephens Episcopal Church at 1418 22nd Ave. This shelter is open to parents with minor children and teenagers 17 and younger.

These shelters have been inspected by the city and received temporary use permits, according to a press release. There is no fee for a temporary use permit for a severe weather shelter, and a permit may be valid for one year.

The First Christian Church shelter was scheduled to open at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The shelter will operate from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. during the severe weather event. The Kelso-Longview Ministerial Association and Love Overwhelming have trained 48 local volunteers to help with the shelter, LO Executive Director Chuck Hendrickson said in a press release Wednesday.

First Christian Church has installed temporary privacy fencing, bright safety lights and security cameras, according to the release. And Columbia Security has added the church to its nightly route. A Columbia Security guard will be stationed between Kessler School and Kids World Preschool on mornings when the shelter is open.

In a social media post to Kessler school parents, the Longview School District said it has contracted with Columbia Security to patrol the grounds around Kessler Elementary from 2:45 to 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 to 8:45 a.m. “to assure the safety of our students.”

“We are in close contact with Longview police and have asked them to increase their presence in the area. Also, the district is working with the ministerial association ... to understand how best to keep our students and staff safe.”

The church has set up a phone number for residents to report any incidents which may occur. The number is 360-749-8056 extension 123. Anyone who wants to volunteer at the shelter can contact Kayce Settlemier at the same 360-749-8056, ext. 116 or emailing ksettlemier@loveoverwhelming.org.

Those who want to donate to the shelter can contact Shawn Nyman by calling 360-270-5096 or emailing admin@loveoverwhelming.org.

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