Baltimore authorities said they transported nearly five dozen people to shelters Monday and Tuesday as the coldest air in 20 years broke records in Maryland.
Connor Scott, a spokesman for the city Office of Emergency Management, said that as of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, officials had made contact 92 times with homeless people and took 59 of them to shelters to escape the cold. In some cases, people initially refused to go to shelters and were checked on twice by authorities, so the number includes some double-counting, Scott said.
Temperatures hit 3 degrees at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport at 6 a.m. Tuesday, with wind chills making it feel more like 15 below zero.
The 275-bed homeless shelter at 620 The Fallsway was expanded by 60 beds and filled to capacity Monday night. The city opened a cold weather shelter, which Scott said had about 65 people in it Monday night.
The Mayor's Office of Human Services said that its two regular overflow shelters were also at capacity, with about 200 people seeking beds. Numerous other private homeless shelters were at capacity Monday night, though a full accounting of how many beds were filled across the city was not available early Tuesday morning, city officials said.
The city called an Severe Code Blue weather alert from 6 p.m. Monday through 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Residents were encouraged to call 311 to report individuals who may need to go to a shelter.