- Thursday, 22 December 2022
- Written by Michael Futch, CityView Today
Local homeless shelters will be opening expanded space for “white flag’’ nights as the area prepares for a blast of Artic cold weather that will see overnight temperatures dip into the teens.
White flag nights are when the shelters let the homeless and destitute inside to give them a place to stay when the weather is 32 degrees or lower or in the event of inclement weather.
The Salvation Army will open for white flag nights Friday, Dec. 23 through Tuesday, Dec. 27 with the possibility of opening Wednesday as well, said Vanessa Chavis, the shelter manager.
The hours are 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the shelter at 220 E. Russell St.
Chavis said the regular shelter reached capacity on Tuesday.
Identification is not required for white flag nights, she said. Only a full name and the last four digits of an individual’s Social Security number are needed.
“We are prepared for white flag,” Chavis said. “We are always watching temperatures and stay prepared for that with coordinated entries. Actually, white flag has not begun for us. We’re actually waiting and preparing for it with the food and other things that we need. We usually order extra food so we can have more than enough.”
The Manna Church Dream Center men's shelter on Person Street normally offers 20 beds for those in need. On white flag nights, an additional two beds open up at the shelter. As of Wednesday evening, the shelter was two beds below capacity, leaving four available beds on white flag nights.
Manager Randy Davis said he already had a man eager to take one of the two white flag spots, leaving three beds open for the upcoming cold weather nights.
The hours are 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
"They just need to show up,’’ Davis said. “First come, first served."
True Vine Ministries, which has provided space previously on white flag nights, could not be reached for comment.
Andrew Kren, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh, said rain showers moving into the area will increase in coverage tonight and into Thursday morning. The rain should be moving out by Thursday afternoon.
“But the main impact is what we’ve been advertising most of the week,” Kren said. “A strong Arctic cold front moving through Friday morning. With that, temperatures will be more or less dropping. That front will move through Friday morning and temperatures will pretty much tap out in the upper 40s in the early morning hours but then quickly crash into the 30s and eventually into the 20s by the evening hours. Overnight lows on Saturday morning will mostly be in the teens.”
Along with the frontal passage, he said, they are expecting some strong wind gusts Friday with some reaching upwards of 45 mph. With the high wind gusts and the Arctic cold air coming in, wind chills will likely be in the lower teens and single digits Friday night.
The coldest day is forecast for Saturday, with temperatures in the low 30s, Kren said. Morning lows on Saturday and Sunday will be in the mid-teens.
Temperatures on Sunday morning will warm up a little, to the upper 30s.
“That’s well below normal,” he said. “Our normal basically for the holiday weekend in the Fayetteville area, generally, are in the mid-50s. And our average lows are in the mid-30s. So, temperatures in the 30s for highs and lows in the teens Saturday and Sunday morning are well below average.”
The record on Christmas Eve is 14 degrees set in 1989. Saturday’s forecast calls for “cutting it close” to the record low for this area, Kren said.
The record low, he said, is 4 degrees set in 1989 for Dec. 23 and Christmas Day.
“So, we’re unlikely to reach that on Sunday morning but Saturday morning, we’ll be very close to reaching that record low of 14.”
Temperatures are anticipated to rise into the low 40s on Monday and Tuesday.
“A nice little warming trend, if you want to call it that,” he said. “Certainly, warmer than it will be this weekend. That’s still below average.”