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With chill and wind expected to worsen, shelters open throughout Tampa Bay

TAMPA — With a wind-chill advisory issued for the Tampa Bay area that could make it feel like it's freezing tonight, several counties are opening shelters from the cold weather.

On Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service advised that cold air filtering down through the state will combine with 10 mph winds to create wind chills of 20 to 25 degrees in the northern counties of Tampa Bay and 30 to 35 degrees in the southern areas.

The wind-chill advisory is in effect until Thursday morning.

The low temperatures will hang around until the weekend, meteorologists from Bay News 9 forecast, when the weather will start to warm gradually.

Cold-weather shelters are not scheduled to open tonight in Pinellas County, said Cliff Smith, interim director of health and human services, because temperatures there are not expected to be as cold.

In Hernando County, Jericho Road Ministries in Brooksville is the designated shelter.

The non-profit ministry operates two programs year-round, one for women and one for men, providing temporary or long-term assistance to people in need.

When the temperatures drop, Jericho sets up additional beds in each location for those seeking a warm place to ride out the weather, said Pastor Bruce Gimbel, Jericho's director.

"We're ready for it," Gimbel said "We'll get a few extra people, but we're not inundated like the shelters down in Tampa."

Hillsborough has announced shelter openings only to house the homeless and those without heat for tonight.

County officials are encouraging people to donate non-perishable food to Metropolitan Ministries, which provides food to all four of its shelters.

At 5 p.m., the service was preparing 60 meals for expected shelter visitors around the county, said Ana Mendez, a spokeswoman for Metropolitan Ministries.

Pasco County plans to have its shelters open both tonight and Thursday night.

Here are shelter locations:

Hillsborough

Metropolitan Ministries at 2010 N Florida Ave. in Tampa began taking in families at 4 p.m. Families who come there will receive a voucher for a one-night motel stay.

The Salvation Army shelter at 1514 N Florida Ave. in Tampa is taking adults only.

At 5:30 p.m., the Brandon Community Center, 510 E Sadie St., will open its doors to anyone who needs shelter.

The Bethune Park Rural Shelter at 5809 Edina St. in Wimauma opens at 6 p.m.

Most of the shelters will close at 7 a.m. Thursday, county officials said.

Pasco

All shelters open at 6 p.m.:

Volunteer Way at 10008 Moon Lake Road in New Port Richey will not accept families.

Community Congregational Church at 6533 Circle Drive in Port Richey will also exclude families.

Families are welcome at Home with a Heart at 11736 U.S. 19, Room 161, in Port Richey; the Holy Ground Shelter at 8835 Denton Ave. in Hudson; and the Samaritan Project at 34921 Chauncy Road in Zephyrhills.

Hernando

Jericho Road Ministries at 1163 Howell Ave. in Brooksville will take in women and families.

Jericho Road Ministries at 1090 Mondon Hill Road will take in single-men only.

Times staff writers Greg Hamilton and Erin Sullivan contributed to this report.

With chill and wind expected to worsen, shelters open throughout Tampa Bay 12/01/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 2, 2010 8:31am]
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