Top 3 Headlines on WHSV.com January 7

These are the most viewed headlines on WHSV.com for Jan. 6. Stories with available video will have a link in the headline.

Closings and Delays Due to Cold Weather

Reporter: Amelia Nahmias

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Temperatures are forecasted to continue to fall making their way into dangerous digits which has school officials on edge.

With 20 below wind chills, students should be outside as little as possible.

Harrisonburg City Schools Superintendent Scott Kizner has decided on a two-hour delay for two reasons.

His first concern has to do with the school buildings as he wants to give extra time to make sure all heating systems are functioning properly and efficiently.

Second, he also wants to make sure there are no mechanical issues with the buses and that all batteries are working.

"The last thing I want to see is a child left standing at a bus stop because a bus is broken down. Some times that happens, it's unavoidable, if we could wait just two hours making sure all of our buses are able to do their routes, I'm sure that would give parents comfort, and definitely give me comfort," said Kizner.

Kizner also said that if any students do arrive early to school tomorrow, principals have been told to let those students in so no one will be left outside waiting.

He also said this is the first time he has decided on a two-hour delay based solely on temperature.

"This is a different challenge. When we're dealing with snow and ice, we're more concerned about the buses once they're on the road. This is a concern about whether the buses can even get on the road," said Kizner.

Also, if your children typically walk to school, you can drive them to the bus stop, even if they haven't rode the bus before.

 

Cars May Not Start with Cold Weather Expected

Reporter: Channing Frampton

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Extreme cold weather could give a knockout punch to engines Tuesday.

If you're not ready, you may not be going anywhere.

With the extreme cold that is on the way, tire pressure is one thing local mechanics are really reminding people to take care of before they hit the roads.

Cold air can contract and reduce the air pressure in tires which can make driving dangerous.

Another part of your car that may not work in the cold is the battery.

You might even have to get a new battery after this cold snap that we're about to go through.

Batteries that are three or four years old can have a hard time getting your car started and your engine running in cold temperatures.

Area mechanics also said there are a number of reasons your car may not start in the morning due to the cold.

Gary Bauserman, who owns a local Midas, explained, “Your coolant is very important. Make sure your antifreeze is tested and that it's good for zero degree weather we're supposed to get for a few days. Make sure it's good and clean as well."

 

Cold Weather Fills Shelter to Capacity

Reporter: Anna-Lysa Gayle

Harrisonburg, Va. (WHSV) -- Monday lines formed outside of the First Presbyterian Church on Court Square in Harrisonburg.

"It's cold out here. I mean there's people sitting out here, just freezing to death," said Roger Thompson, who is homeless.

People like Roger Thompson who depend on the shelter Open Doors for warmth waited in hats, gloves and layers.

Rachel Hundley, the executive director of the Open Doors program, said Monday they reached capacity at the shelter, which is uncommon.

The program accepted forty homeless individuals on Monday night. It has only happened about four times this year.

"But, we know that sometimes we have to be flexible, when it comes to extreme circumstances like weather," said Hundley.

With a wind chill warning in effect until 6 p.m., homeless individuals here in the Valley will get to sleep here a little longer than usual.

Tuesday the shelter will close at 7:30 a.m., instead of the usual 7 a.m.

"Doesn't seem like a lot, it's just an extra half an hour, but that half an hour will allow for everyone to stay warm and then go to 'Our Community Place when they open at 7:30 a.m.," said Hundley.

The shelter opens at 6:30 p.m. each day. On cold days like this, Thompson is calling for the community to build more long-term shelters. "Why don't we just get a building for the homeless people for all year round, instead of just six months out of the year," said Thompson.

Hundley said safety is also a priority when the shelter is filled.

Each person who enters the shelter is asked if they have a weapon and if they do, they leave it at the front.

The number to call Open Doors, if you need a place to stay during the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. is 540-578-3869.

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