Residents handling cold weather in different ways; shelters open
There are some who have to work in the cold and there are others who are doing everything to stay out of the weather, and then there are a few who see the cold as a challenge.
From Franco’s Athletic Club in Mandeville into the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville and back has been a New Year’s Day tradition for almost 30 years for the Iceman Dip and Dash.
However, in all of those years, it has never been as cold as it was on Monday.
“We said if they just wanted to dip, that's fine. Safety is our main priority here also, but also having a good time and having a safe time,” Ron Franco, of Franco’s Athletic Club, said.
The participation numbers were down with the temperatures, but the spirit of the challenge remained high.
“Just cold. Really, the easiest part is running down and once you come back, everything just starts to go downhill because you start to freeze up but you just have to power through,” 12-year-old Joshua Dolese, participant of the Iceman Dip and Dash, said.
Down the road, dozens of LSU fans rang in the New Year at Walk On’s in Covington despite braving temperatures in the 20s to get there.
“I thought about it. I thought about it seriously but it's so much better to see it with people, to see it with friends,” LSU fan Kevin Bucknum said.
“Better together” is also the focus of an offer by the New Orleans Mission Retreat Center in Lacombe which has opened its doors to those finding themselves in need of help to get out of the cold.
“It gives us an opportunity where normally people would stay out on the street, and in the woods, to come out. And it's a great opportunity to love them and share Christ with them and offer to get them off of the streets for the rest of their lives,” John Lonardo, of the New Orleans Mission Retreat Center, said.
Shelters are open at the following locations:
Crossgate Church – 985-507-7988
22494 Hwy 190
Robert, LA 70455
Brown's Chapel Missionary Baptist Church – 985-514-6099
70427 Martin Luther King Dr.
Kentwood, LA 70444
Tangipahoa Parish EOC/Saferoom 2nd Floor - 985-748-2269
114 N. Laurel St.
Amite, LA 70422
Giving Hope Retreat Center of the New Orleans - 985-218-9485
31294 Highway 190 in Lacombe