The National Weather Service reported a low of 5 degrees Fahrenheit at 6:53 a.m. Tuesday at Cartersville Airport. According to the agency, that is 25 degrees lower than the average. The previous record for Jan. 7 was 12 degree in 1970.
That is not the coldest temperature recorded in Cartersville, however. According to The Weather Channel, in January 1985, a reading of -9 degrees was recorded in the city.
In spite of the cold, United Way representative Brenda Morehouse said approximately four people took advantage of the temporary shelter Bartow County Emergency Management Agency set up at the Houston Suggs Youth Recreation Facility. On Tuesday, United Way and EMA worked with other agencies and nonprofits to pass out blankets and food near known homeless camps and give free flu shots.
“Basically the health department had been giving away free flu shots, so Paul Cuprowski with EMA called and asked them, ‘Hey, can we do a rolling flu shot and drive around to some of these places and offer some of these people a free flu shot?’ So that’s what we’ve been doing today,” she said.
“It’s been really good. ... We started at the shelter that we have and did a couple there. And then we went out to some of the sites behind Wal-Mart and out by the truck stop and we gave a couple of them to some of the folks out there. There were some that really weren’t approachable and they didn’t want to have anything to do with us, and some that were very welcoming and did want the shot.”
Cuprowski, director of Bartow County EMA, said the flu shots, handouts and temporary shelter were a success in terms of organization. He acknowledged how few people took advantage of the shelter, but believed the low number was a positive indication.
“The coordination between agencies really couldn’t have gone any better. Everybody participated. Everybody had a little part in it,” he said. “Everything came together quickly and easily, which is great. ... We didn’t really know what to expect. The good part about that is those who didn’t come obviously didn’t need it. You know, that’s a good thing. On the one side they felt that they were safe — that they didn’t need to go.”
The temporary shelter will close at noon today, Cuprowski said, while additional efforts, including flu shots and ride arounds ended Tuesday. Once the county returns to normal seasonal temperatures, EMA will begin a review process.
“Our plan is, after this is all over, we’ll have the action review meeting, and to sit down and talk about what went well, what we could do better, how we could do it better and what are we going to do next time. So that’s all part of the big picture. We don’t have to recreate the wheel each and every event,” Cuprowski said.
Cuprowski also thanked Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor, County Administrator Peter Olson, Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini, the Red Cross, The Salvation Army and other local nonprofits and government agencies for their assistance during the cold snap. He also thanked county residents for their offers of help.
“We’ve had emails and a lot of requests on Facebook, and stuff like that for people wanting to help. This is a great community, as you know, everybody always wants to help, but this time we didn’t need any help,” Cuprowski said. “We appreciate everybody, and if we did need help we would have plenty of it available, which is good to know.”