Schools, cities thaw out "deep freeze" plans

Ball State is opening dorms a day early so students can get back before the storm.
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Schools, community centers and fire stations are among the groups thawing out a deep freeze plan.

At Ball State, the dorms are quiet as students have yet to return from break. They were due back Sunday for spring semester, but school officials decided to open dorms a day early on Saturday, instead.

"We wanted to be very thoughtful of our students traveling back to campus. Certainly concerned for their safety," said Dr. Kay Bales. "We've heard from students and parents who are appreciative."

But it's not just about unlocking dormitory doors. The university has to bring in the dining hall staff a day early and get other student services going and do it all on very short notice.

"A lot of students wait 'til the last minute. It'll be pretty hazardous if they waited until Sunday afternoon or evening," said Ball State weather expert Dr. David Call.

"It looks like blizzards and all that stuff and people want to come ready to avoid that," said student Nick Rodriguez.

Muncie fire stations and city hall are opening for those who lose heat.

"If they have any kind of problems or anything, we welcome them to come and get out of the weather," said Muncie Fire Chief Ed Bell.

In Anderson, the Salvation Army and six churches will open as warming centers. If folks without heat have no rides, city spokesperson Alisha Cummings says there will be bus service available. A hotline for service from the city's "CATS" bus line is set up for residents at 765-648-6405.

"We really want to keep everybody safe and warm and that's why were being proactive," Cummings said.

"That's real good, considering a lot of people don't have places to go," said Shalina Millhouse.

But she won't have to leave her dog Striker in the cold house. Some shelters will permit pets and, if not, Animal Control will care for them.

"He's just very important to me. He's like my child. That's all I've got is him. I'd do anything to keep him safe," Millhouse said.

Anderson warming stations (listed by preference)

Salvation Army
1615 Meridian Street, Anderson, IN

Church Upon The Rock
303 E. 29th Street, Anderson, IN

Aletheia Fellowship
2505 Faith Drive, Anderson, IN

East Side Church of God
2600 E. 5th Street, Anderson, IN

Madison Park Church of God
6607 Providence Drive, Anderson, IN