New Orleans bracing for coldest night of the year

New Orleans bracing for coldest night of the year

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - People are turning up the thermostats and getting under the blankets Saturday night, as the City of New Orleans works to make sure everyone, including the homeless stay safe.

"It's cold, it feels actually really cold here," tourist Wendy Sour said.

Barbara Rosen adds, "I'm freezing and I'm visiting from the mountains of Vail, Colorado where it was much warmer than today."

Tourists looking for a warm, balmy trip to New Orleans this weekend were out of luck. Even locals say they're limiting their time outdoors.

"I can deal with cold mostly but just the constant wind coming at you is hard," Craig Albert said.

Imagine spending all night in this weather. Every homeless shelter in New Orleans is open Saturday night and won't turn anyone away.

Jessica Shaw, spokesperson for the Salvation Army, says, "The last few days we've been prepping, getting ready, we have extra hygiene products, extra pillows, extra sheets just in case we get an influx of people coming through."

The Salvation Army takes in men, women and children.

"We can house up to 215 people if we need to and then additionally we have cots the city will bring us when it gets a lot colder, if there's a freeze watch, then we'll put them in our cafeteria and make sure everyone has a place to sleep," Shaw stated.

The system that's brought freezing temperatures to Southeast Louisiana is dumping heavy snow in the Northeast. At Louis Armstrong International Airport, people are warm, but stranded.

Andre Everett from New York, explains, " (I) got a text message saying it was delayed and then we got here and they were saying it was canceled. So now we're going to be here until five in the morning."

"I'm getting another flight at 5pm to Chicago, then from Chicago to Montreal," traveler Mohammed Doutabaa said.

Some are even considering drastic measures to get back home.

"It makes you wonder if flying is the way to go. I mean, gas prices are falling so much, and I don't mind driving," Bart Black said.

It would be a 20-hour trek back to Michigan for Black and his wife but may get them there faster than trying their luck with the airlines.

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