Dangerously frigid temperatures today have led to a slew of closures around the area, as churches, businesses and other locations open around the city as warming centers.

Kokomo was blasted with wind chills hovering at between 40 to 50 below zero degrees Fahrenheit Tuesday night. The bitter cold will remain through mid-Thursday, with temperatures reaching a high today of just 5 below zero. That will be accompanied by arctic winds between 20 and 30 mph.

A weak weather disturbance moving through the area around Thursday night could result in some light snow accumulations, according to the National Weather Service.

Experts say the dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes. There could also be drastically reduced visibilities over short distances with snow showers and squalls, and slick spots could develop on roads due to snow accumulations.

In response to unprecedented cold snap, most schools and government offices are closing up in an effort to keep people inside.

The Miami County Board of Commissioners announced Tuesday morning that the Miami County Courthouse and county offices would be closed today. Emergency personnel and highway department employees reported to work as normal.

Peru City Hall and all the city’s departments are also closed today due to the weather.

But Kokomo and Howard County governments say they will remain open.

Kokomo Deputy Mayor David Tharp said "all regularly scheduled city services and functions will take place," although there is the possibility for delays for services like the CityLine trolley system and trash pickup.

“Anything mechanical may experience problems in that kind of cold,” Tharp said.

Similarly, Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman said the county will remain open for business, including the courthouse, but it's likely the county will remain under a yellow travel advisory, which urges caution when driving.

Taylor schools announced at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday that it would be closed today and Thursday. Besides Northwestern School Corp., all other Howard County schools canceled Wednesday classes on Tuesday.

Ivy Tech’s Kokomo campus also closed today, as well as IU Kokomo, which will remain closed until noon on Thursday. Classes are set to resume at 1 p.m. Thursday at IUK.

Warming Centers

The Kokomo Rescue Mission is preparing for the extremely low temperatures in the forecast through Thursday, Jan. 31. The mission dining room will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Thursday for anyone who needs shelter from the cold. Hot beverages will be available to those who come to the dining room, located at 321 W. Mulberry St. The dining room will be serving meals at the regular times of noon and 4:30 p.m.

The city of Kokomo's Kokomo Senior Center will be open as a warming center. The facility at 721 W. Superior St. will remain open and not close until 5 p.m. on Thursday. The center will be fully staffed during that time.

A warming center run by The Church of Goodness has been filled, noted Cristi Brewer-Allen on Tuesday morning. The center, managed by Brewer-Allen, is located at 625 N. Union St.

Burnett's Auto Sales & Service, located at 2054 Kimberly St., has opened as a 24/7 warming center, according to a Facebook post from the company.

“Until we get through this cold weather Burnett’s will serve as a warming center for those in need! If you or someone you know would like a coffee, meal, fellowship, or just refuge from the frigid temps please stop by. Our lobby is your lobby and our facilities are your facilities," reads the post.

During normal business hours, people can reach the company at 765-453-7333. For other requests or during non-business hours, call 765-437-8451.

Coordinated Assistance Ministries Inc., located at 210 N. Market Street, will also serve as a warming center.

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