County providing emergency shelter

Charles Warner Editor

January 7, 2014

UNION COUNTY — The Union County Supervisor’s Office, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Recreation Department and the county’s fire departments are working together to provide emergency transportation and shelter for residents who may be without heat during the below freezing weather this week.

Sheriff David Taylor said this afternoon that his office, the supervisor’s office, and the county’s fire departments are working together to help people who are without heat. Taylor said that people who find themselves without heat can call 911 and emergency personnel will respond to take them to emergency shelter.

Supervisor Tommy Sinclair said that in the event there are a large number of people needing this assistance, preparations have been made to provide them with emergency shelter at the recreation department.

“We talked with Jimmy Wilkins and Brad Jolly to get in touch with the fire departments,” Sinclair said. “We talked with Robbie Hines at 911 to be sure if somebody called in cold that the first check out in the county would be from the fire departments. If they could handle the situation, fine. If not, they would call back to 911 and that would trigger the rec department to provide temporary warm accommodations

“What we’ve got here is mattresses and blankets from the detention center, food from Timken, coffee and hot chocolate from Timken, and a generator from the stadium if needed,” he said. “So if somebody needed a place we are sitting ready to go.”

Sinclair said that while temperatures are not expected get quite as low tonight as they did this morning when they fell into the single digits, they will nevertheless be brutally cold. He said this will be made even worse by the fact that the warmth houses might have retained initially will be gone.

“Temperatures dropped last night but houses were still warm,” Sinclair said. “It is not expected to get above freezing today and then drop back into the teens tonight so now houses may be truly cold.”

Sinclair said that with this in mind the items and staff needed to provide 60 residents with emergency shelter will be in place at the recreation department if needed, not only this week, but for similar situations if they occur.

“State forecasters look for a rough winter,” Sinclair said. “We no longer have the Red Cross and Salvation Army within the county directly so we’ve made our own solution.”

Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at cwarner@civitasmedia.com.