Iowa weather: DART giving free rides to warming centers, shelters amid historic cold
Brrrr! Below-zero temperatures are expected across a quarter of the continental U.S., according to the The National Weather Service. USA TODAY
As dangerously cold temperatures sweep the state mid-week, DART is giving free rides to local shelters and warming centers through Thursday for those in need.
In a news release Tuesday, the City of Des Moines advised residents to seek refuge at warming centers, shelters and other businesses that are normally open to the public, such as shopping malls, and have public restrooms. Starting early Wednesday morning, temperatures will hit minus 20 in the Des Moines metro with a wind chill of minus 40 to 45 through noon.
To request a free ride, riders can board any Des Moines Area Regional Transit Local, Express, Flex or On Call route and let the driver know they need a ride to, or from, a warming center. DART Paratransit riders are asked to call 2-1-1 to request a ride.
Southridge Mall, 1111 East Army Post Rd., which is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day but Sunday, when it's open 12 to 6 p.m.
Merle Hay Mall, 3800 Merle Hay Road, which is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day but Sunday, when it's open 12 to 5:30 p.m.
Des Moines Central Library, 1000 Grand Ave., which is open Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It's closed Saturday, but open Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Des Moines East Side Library, 2559 Hubbell Ave., which is open Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., closed Wednesday, open Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed Sunday.
Forest Library, 1326 Forest Ave., which is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's closed Friday and Sunday, and open Monday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Franklin Library, 5000 Franklin Ave., which is open Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Thursday, and open Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It's open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but closed Sunday.
Des Moines North Side Library, 3516 Fifth Ave., which is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's closed Sunday and Monday.
Des Moines South Side Library, 1111 Porter Ave., which is open Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's closed Sunday, open Monday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and closed Tuesday.
While warming centers are not staffed to provide services, they are deemed safe by the city. Those in need of services should seek out local shelters, listed below, which are staffed with professionals.
Central Iowa Shelter and Services (CISS), 1420 Mulberry St. in Des Moines
Individuals who normally don't qualify for services are able to seek shelter here as part of the shelter's weather amnesty status, which kicks in at 10 degrees. Those needing to take advantage of the shelter can do so 48 hours before and after projected cold, said the City of Des Moines release.
Bethel Mission, 1310 6th Ave. in Des Moines
This shelter is operating in its weather amnesty status, when temperatures hit 32 degrees, and also as surge capacity available. Polk County Health Services is assisting with mental health evaluations at both CISS and Bethel Mission, the city said.
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