With extremely low temperatures expected on Thursday and into the weekend, an emergency shelter will be open at the East Little Rock Community Center beginning Thursday afternoon.


The shelter at the center, 2500 E. Sixth St., will be operated by The Van. The shelter will open at 3 p.m. on Thursday and will remain open Thursday night, all day Friday and Friday night. Little Rock’s emergency management staff will continue to monitor the extreme weather conditions and the shelter will stay open as needed.


The Van will conduct coordinated pickups across the area on Thursday, in partnership with Park Hill Christian Church. For transportation to the emergency shelter, call (501) 955-3444 starting Thursday.


Temperatures are expected to plummet during the day Thursday as a cold front moves through. Dangerous wind chills are predicted overnight Thursday and Friday morning.


“All of us need to make preparations now for bitterly cold weather with below-zero wind chill temperatures,” said Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. “Our shelter at East Little Rock Community Center will be open starting Thursday for residents who are unsheltered or in emergency need of a warm place to stay. I appreciate the work of The Van, city staff and our other community partners who will help us ensure safety and warmth for our residents during this winter weather event.”


Mayor Scott said the city’s Public Works Division is on standby in the event of any wintry precipitation on Thursday. There is a full supply of sand and salt mixture if needed for city streets, and both large and small trucks are fitted with spreaders and plows.


Because of the forecasted temperatures, Little Rock Animal Services asks pet owners to consider moving outdoor pets indoors during extreme cold. If that’s not an option, then dogs should have dry, warm bedding inside a weatherproof doghouse. Outdoor cats should have proper shelter. Keep the water clean and change it out regularly to prevent freezing.


Animal Services and the Little Rock Police Department will respond to complaints about animals not being properly cared for during a winter weather event.


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