Red Cross opens warming centers for those without power

Warming centers are open in Columbia and Marshall tonight for those without power.

At the Broadway Christian Church in Columbia, Red Cross volunteers prepared for visitors still without power after the second storm in less than a week blasted through mid-Missouri.

This warming center opened up at 8:00 last night and has had a few visitors already.

Thousands of residents in Boone county and the surrounding areas are still waiting on electricity tonight, and the Red Cross urges those who do have power to tell their friends and family members about this warming shelter.

"We just are trying to be as proactive as possible and this is an opportunity to get the word out there. For people that have no other options they can come here and have a safe, warm environment to spend the night in," said Red Cross Disaster Specialist Phillip Iman.

Iman said there are 50 beds in their main room alone, and space for 200 more in an adjacent building.

A disaster truck holding blankets, cots, and other extra supplies sat outside the church, ready for more visitors. Toiletry kits that include toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and other items are given to those who plan on spending the night at the shelter. Walt Disney World provides the Red Cross with stuffed Mickey Mouse Dolls for kids' comfort overnight.

Meals are not provided, but the center has plenty of snacks, coffee, and hot chocolate to go around.

"It doesn't matter if they're from Franklin, Cooper, Howard, Moniteau, or Morgan, anybody that feels that they need a place to stay tonight due to being displaced from their home for this storm," said Iman.

Officials plan on closing the Broadway warming center tomorrow morning, but will help direct visitors where to go if they are still without power Thursday.