Volunteers can’t wait for an end to the cold snap, Piper workers back Tuesday

VERO BEACH — In her seven years of working at The Source, Sonya Morrison has never seen anything like the last 11 days. And she is figuring there might be a 12th.Morrison oversees the local cold shelter which has been open almost continuously since the arrival of the New Year. She estimated that last year there were nine nights the center had to open because of the cold, but never more than two nights in a row.


Despite the expected warm up over the week the National Weather Service is calling for yet another night of frigid weather, which likely will keep the center open at least one more night. “We have been open almost continuously since Jan. 1,” said Morrison, who is serving as interim Director.Morrison noted the community response has been overwhelming for sleeping bags, blankets, snacks and warm clothing. “About the only thing we need are men’s extra large coats and gloves,” she said.In fact, the help she needs most right now is money.”Our biggest need is financial resources,” she said. “The cost of electricity has gone through the roof for us. Typically we are a day center, but with having to be open all these nights we are using electricity 24 hours a day.”Morrison said the Red Cross has been providing support since last Thursday with supplies and volunteers to help ease the workload of her staff.While tired, she said she is grateful for the outpouring of support from the community.”Since the word has gone out about what we need, people have been streaming through the doors,” she said. “It truly has been a blessing to our staff and our volunteers and our clients. Sometimes they feel alienated from the community and it has been nice for them to see how much people care.”The warm-up Tuesday will also get the manufactoring plant at Piper up and running. Piper remained closed to its 450 manurfactoring workers a third day Monday, but is calling for employees to return Tuesday. Piper had to close the plant when daytime temperatures dipped below 50 degrees which affected climate sensitive operations. Most of the manufactoring buildings are unheated and were registering temperatures in the low 40s.Out at Dodgertown, the cold snap has not affected any of the baseball fields as workers ready the facility for college and high school baseball tournaments starting late next month.Minor League Baseball Vice President Craig Callan said the fields have been overseeded in order to help withstand the cold. The one area of damage he did notice when returning from a business was some of the annuals that add color to the grounds did not survive the freezing temperatures despite attempts to keep the covered.”Everything was covered, but I noticed when they uncovered them today that some of them looked pretty damaged,” he said.

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