Most Viewed Stories
Storm update: Latest on relief efforts
Shelter will provide showers, lockers
(Updated 8 p.m. Monday) --
Volunteers from the Yuma branch of the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter opened an overnight shelter Monday at Castle Dome Middle School for anyone affected by the storm-related power outage.
Andretta Schellinger, emergency services specialist for Yuma, said that in addition to offering people a cool and safe place to spend the night, Red Cross offered meals, snacks, water, showers, locker rooms, restrooms and cots, as well as updated information on the power outage.
While Arizona Public Service estimated that power should be restored between 9 p.m. and midnight Monday, Schellinger said the shelter would remain open as long as needed.
The Red Cross opened the shelter Monday afternoon, shortly before closing a cooling station it had established at Mt. Zion Church earlier in the day. The church is where the organization had been giving out bottles of water, dry ice and sack lunches provided by The Salvation Army.
"Only one person stayed at the cooling station for any length of time," Schellinger said. "Mt. Zion Church was amazing in their assistance."
Schellinger said while only two people had come to the overnight shelter by late Monday afternoon, she expected more to start arriving once they get off from work and found out their power hadn’t been restored.
Despite handing out only five of the 200 sack lunches throughout the day, Schellinger said the Red Cross passed out 4,500 pounds of the dry ice it had been given by APS.
Meanwhile, APS had established a distribution point at the Walmart on 32nd Street and gave out 18,000 pounds — or nine tons — of dry ice in about three hours.
"That was all the dry ice available in the state," said APS spokesman Steven Gotfried. "After we ran out, we brought in two truckloads of wet ice (bags of ice cubes) and began distributing that."
The Yuma business Diamond Brooks was dispensing free water throughout the day. Its kiosks at Fortuna Road and Shale, Foothills Boulevard and 45th Street, and Highway 80 and Avenue 4E were all being powered by generators.
Schellinger said the Red Cross also delivered food and water to approximately 50 homebound residents affected by the outage. Throughout the day, people were being encouraged to contact the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office Foothills substation with the addresses of anyone they knew to home bound and unable to help themselves.
The LDS Church at 2895 S. 8th Ave. in Yuma will also be open as a cooling station for those without power. The Humane Society of Yuma was on standby for pets needing assistance.
Anyone needing disaster assistance can call the Red Cross at 1-800-842-7349.