City declares Code Blue weather alert

BALTIMORE, Md. - With a forecasted potential for record-setting cold temperatures and the possibility of wind chills at 11 degrees below zero on Tuesday, the Baltimore City Health Department has declared a Severe Code Blue Weather alert  effective at 6 p.m. January 6, through Wednesday, January 8 at 10 a.m. 

The lowest wind chills were expected to occur after midnight Monday through Tuesday morning. Temperatures are expected to fall into the teens Tuesday night with lows in the single digits Monday night and highs in the teens on Tuesday. Winds are expected to be 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.

Code Blue is a multi-agency coordinated approach to providing vulnerable populations in Baltimore City with relief from extreme cold weather. Code Blue indicates an increased risk for cold injuries or even death for those exposed to low temperatures.  The program's goal is to reduce the number of hypothermia deaths and related illnesses in the City.  

"The cold on Tuesday morning and during the day will be very extreme," said Dr. Jacquelyn Duval-Harvey, Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. "Overnight tonight into Tuesday could be the coldest it's been in Baltimore in 20 years. These temperatures could be life-threatening to anyone who is exposed to outside conditions for an extended period of time; especially the homeless, seniors and others vulnerable to extreme weather."

As during all Code Blue declarations, the Mayor's Office of Human Services will operate a 24-hour Housing & Resource Center for men and women at 620 Fallsway with 60 additional beds (total capacity 335 individuals) available for residents seeking meals and sleeping quarters. City officials will coordinate multiple resources and outreach to encourage homeless individuals to take advantage of shelters. Additional overflow homeless shelters will be opened and emergency shelters will keep extended hours.

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