Longview shelters braced to protect people from the heat as the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory that one meteorologist said could be extended through the weekend.
High humidity coupled with afternoon temperatures in the 90s combined to raise the heat index values to 107 Wednesday and a forecast value of 105 today, the National Weather Service reported. Nighttime heating index values are predicted to hover in the mid-80s.
The weather service in Shreveport issued a heat advisory about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday that went into later than morning and was expected to remain in effect until 7 o’clock tonight, weather service meteorologist Aaron Stevens said Wednesday.
He said the weather service likely will extend the advisory through the weekend.
The advisory will be extended “until we get some kind of change to cool us off a little bit,” Stevens said.
Stevens said with humidity as high as 52% as of 2:15 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, temperatures in the low to mid-90s feel as if it is 105 to 109 degrees.
“The more humidity you have, the harder it is for your body to cool,” Stevens said.
Meanwhile, Longview shelters are offering relief to people without roofs over their heads, and the shelters expect to fill more beds while the weather is hot.
Both the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission at 3117 W. Marshall Ave. and the Salvation Army at 519 E. Cotton St. reported seeing more people arrive.
Hiway 80 Executive Director Rusty Fennell said 195 people stayed overnight Tuesday — 10 more than Friday — and he said he expects eight to 10 more people to arrive throughout this week.
Fennell said the rescue mission Tuesday night implemented the inclement weather policy through the remainder of the heat advisory to allow people who have been expelled because of past violations to return.
“We don’t want to turn anybody away right now,” Fennell said. He said the mission’s doors open at 3 p.m.
Doors open at 5 p.m. at the Salvation Army shelter, Salvation Army Capt. Nick Hutchinson said.
“The shelter is not at capacity right now,” he said at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Hutchinson said the shelter also serves dinner at 6 p.m. every day it is open to those who are staying at the shelter and to others.
The Salvation Army will not open its drop-in center today at 504 E. Cotton St. because staff will be at a health fair, Hutchinson said. However, he said it will be open Friday and likely on Saturday if the heat advisory remains in effect.
The drop-in center, which offers cold drinks, snacks, board games and movies for visitors, typically keeps hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The rescue mission also will keep its day room open during the day to supply bottled water and respite from the heat to visitors, Fennell said. The day room also supplies bottled water to shelter guests who hold day jobs.
Newgate Mission at 207 S. Mobberly Ave. also is extending its day center hours past 3 p.m. during the week to 5 p.m. to coincide with the Salvation Army opening its shelter at 5 p.m., Executive Director Hollie Bruce said. The center opens at 7 a.m. and serves breakfast and lunch.
She said Newgate also is giving away fans to people who can prove they have a place to live and bring identification.
Newgate also offers showers and personal hygiene products, Bruce said.