Montgomery County community members take new measures amid Code Blue advisory

Christie Ileto Image
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
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When the temperatures take a dip, local municipalities will take measures to protect the homeless.

NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- When the temperatures take a dip, local municipalities take measures to protect the homeless.

That is true for Montgomery County where a Code Blue was in effect Tuesday night for 12 hours.

The Norristown Safehouse, a new designated Code Blue shelter, and was full.

Staff member Christina Powell-Williams was doing what she could to get those most vulnerable indoors.

"It's a lot of homeless in Norristown, so a lot of (places) are full," said Powell-Williams. "I decided to do something on my own and this is why I started the shelter for Code Blue."

Montgomery County issued a cold weather alert as temperatures tumbled overnight.

That means emergency responders have to keep their equipment ready.

The Norristown Fire Department drained the pumps on trucks to keep water from standing.

"We typically keep it filled because it's a more ready state, but we'll have to drain the water of anything that's standing so we can open up at the valves, so it doesn't freeze at night," said John Remillard, Assistant Chief of the Norristown Fire Department.

Meanwhile, suburban restaurants that are forced to serve patrons outdoors have a wall of heaters lining patios and sidewalks.

"We do our best when we know it's going to be really cold," said Greg Herman, owner of Sophies BBQ.

It was a frigid night for Norristown and many were ready to help in the Cold Blue.

"We're having 15 men and women in here tonight," Powell-Williams said. "It's not everybody, but at least we're able to help 15 people."

The Cold Blue in Montgomery County was set to expire at 9 a.m. Wednesday.