MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Thursday night, the coldest air of the season arrives. With clear skies in place, lows will fall to the low to mid 40s near the coast and 30s inland.
A freeze watch has been issued for Inland Broward through Friday morning as temperatures of 32 degrees or lower will be possible overnight.
Broward County has issued a cold weather emergency until Saturday morning.
The Salvation Army in Broward County official said the facility took in one hundred homeless people Wednesday night and they expect more on Thursday night.
James Gentry who is homeless says he’ll tough it out on the streets.
“I’m bundled up with a lot of blankets and I have a tight knit group of friends at a camp that I stay with,” he explains. He calls the current cold snap, ‘moderate.’
Outreach agencies are scouring the streets of South Florida to direct the homeless where to go to have a hot meal and warm bed.
“We are hitting the streets to provide shelter during this cold snap,” said Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief.
“We open the doors at five o’clock but people start lining up at four, we will serve them hot dinners and a hot breakfast before they leave tomorrow morning. They’ll all receive a bed and a warm place to sleep and some blankets for the night,” said the Salvation Army’s Rebecca Koss.
Homeless advocates with the Homeless Voice newspaper in Broward spent hours visiting the homeless Thursday night offering them blankets, jackets, coffee or a warm place to stay.
“It should be like 43 tomorrow morning, I believe, which is in the danger zone for somebody especially if they’ve been drinking or passed out without a blanket over them,” said Homeless Voice Founder Sean Cononie.
The group found two people at a small park near the beach in Hollywood. Linda Orth said she’s been living on and off the streets in South Florida for 15 years and planned to remain on the streets to brave the colder temperatures.
“Are you cold” a reporter asked her.
“Yes. Feel my hands,” she said.
Seconds later a volunteer handed her a pair of gloves.
“God bless,” Orth said.
A few minutes later, Orth changed her mind and decided to go to a shelter for the night.
“I don’t like being cold,” she said.
Randy Anthony said he’s an out of work electrician looking for a job. He’s grateful for the help from the Homeless Voice.
“Thank God for them,” Anthony said. “They’re good people.”
Several Miami-Dade shelters are prepping for an influx of people looking for a warm place to stay.
Chapman Partnership in Miami
1550 N Miami Avenue
Chapman Partnership in Homestead
28205 SW 124th Court
Miami Rescue Mission for Women
2250 NW 1st Avenue
The Salvation Army
1907 NW 38th Street
1603 NW 7th Avenue
Homeless pets at Miami-Dade Animal Services are keeping warm thanks to donated blankets.
“We’re bringing as many dogs as we can inside, providing them blankets. The dogs that have to remain outside, we’re covering the kennels with sheets to try to keep the elements away from them,” explained Luis Salgado with Miami-Dade Animal Services.
“It’s a big challenge we’re at over 300 dogs right now in the shelter so it does take some time to keep them safe and warm inside the shelter,” he added.
While some residents look forward to the cold weather, others live in South Florida simply to escape the chill.
“I don’t like it. I like nice hot weather. That’s why I live here,” said Ginger Bristol.
“Put on an extra jacket, stay in,” said Eleanor King.
Even some tourists are bundled up at the beach.
Tracy Sullian is visiting from Missouri with her 1-and-a-half year old Liam.
Although she was at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea beach Thursday afternoon, he did ‘not’ have her son in the water.
“I’d have him in the water if it were warmer,” she said.
Some visitors seeking refuge in South Florida’s hot sun are left coming up with a plan B.
“Obviously dress warmer. A lot of shopping I’m sure. Stuff like that. Can’t really be out as much by the pool and by the beach,” said Eishara Campbell.
As the temperatures dip into the chilly side, some people are turning to rarely used space heaters to keep them warm.
It’s also a good time to check your space heater to make sure it is ‘UL’ approved.
“When you turn on your heat and smell the dust burning off it’s normal,” says Broward Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles.
“If you start to see smoke, call your fire department.”
“Remember to keep them away from children, it needs to be closely monitored, it needs to be at least three feet away from anything that has the potential to catch fire. That’s your drapes, garbage disposal areas, desks, anything that has the potential to catch fire, you want to keep it away from that,” said Miami Fire Rescue Spokesman Lt. Ignatius Carroll.
Fire officials are urging everyone to check the batteries on home smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors.
While people are bundling up, South Florida farmers have been watering their fields trying to protect their crops.
The most dangerous time is between 3 and 6 a.m.
If there is frost they say there could be damage to the sweet corn crop.