Community

Shelter House plans to reopen winter emergency shelter this weekend

Johnson County expecting high winds, snow under winter storm watch

(FILE PHOTO) Cots are lined up at the Shelter House winter emergency shelter, which is in a new location this year at 821 S. Clinton Street in Iowa City, during a community open house of the shelter on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. The low-barrier shelter is open from 5 pm to 8 am every night until March. Tuesday night, when the temperature dropped to -2 degrees, 38 people were at the shelter but only 29 cots were available. County supervisors visiting the shelter on Wednesday coordinated a donation of additional cots from the county after hearing of the need. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
(FILE PHOTO) Cots are lined up at the Shelter House winter emergency shelter, which is in a new location this year at 821 S. Clinton Street in Iowa City, during a community open house of the shelter on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. The low-barrier shelter is open from 5 pm to 8 am every night until March. Tuesday night, when the temperature dropped to -2 degrees, 38 people were at the shelter but only 29 cots were available. County supervisors visiting the shelter on Wednesday coordinated a donation of additional cots from the county after hearing of the need. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Shelter House staff plan to open up its low-barrier winter emergency shelter this weekend, thanks to the National Weather Service predicting wet heavy snow and 30 to 35 mph wind gusts.

The shelter, located in a building at 821 S. Clinton St., will provide a warm space at night to those who may have issues like substance abuse that would prohibit them from staying in the main shelter. The building will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

The shelter was only planned to be open from early December through early to mid March. However, the lease for the building, approved by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors last year, extends through March 31.

The National Weather Service placed Johnson County under a winter storm watch and is expected to start Friday night as rain and transition to a rain/snow mix and then moderate to heavy snow through Saturday afternoon. In all, residents should prepare for the possibility of two to six inches of snow, along with a light layer of ice.

“Snowfall rates may peak around one inch per hour leading to significant reductions in visibility and very difficult travel conditions,” according to the watch.

l Comments: (319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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