Durham Rescue Mission sends out teams to help homeless stuck in arctic blast

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- With temperatures plunging for the first big chill of the season, the Durham Rescue Mission is starting Operation Warm Shelter to give the homeless a way out of the cold.

Rain started falling Tuesday morning as part of the arctic blast moving into the area. With that, the health and safety of the homeless and those without winter clothes are at risk.

The Durham rescue mission is deploying three teams to go into the woods and look under bus stops and underneath bridges to offer people coffee and pastries to convince them to come to the rescue mission's shelter. Hot meals and a place to sleep will be available.

Those behind the searches say homeless people without access to weather reports are risking injury and illness by staying outside. Temps will drop into the 40s by midday and into the 30s by the evening, a sharp drop from the high of 70 on Monday. Tuesday night, temps will drop to near record-lows in the 20s with wind chills in the teens. The cold is expected to linger around for a few days.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's Winter Outlook released in October actually forecasted a warmer-than-average winter expected for much of the country.

For those with access to heat, it can be expensive to keep a home warm during the winter months. We have some money-saving tips so the cold doesn't impact your wallet.

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A cold weather checklist to get you through the plunge in temperatures.

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