St. Louis area braces for extreme cold

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - With bitter cold weather headed our way, both St. Louis City and St. Louis County are re-opening their cold weather shelters starting Tuesday night.

The county has two locations: The community center at St. Vincent Park at 7335 St. Charles Rock Road.  The other is the Affton Community Center at 9801 Mackenzie Road.

'What we are trying to do by opening up the warming shelters is avoid freezing related injuries or freezing related deaths,' said St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, who decided on Sunday to open the overnight cold weather shelters.

For most people however, the problem is not having a warm home--- it`s having enough warm clothing for such bitter cold, which is why The Alpine Shop in Kirkwood is busy.

'I think you kind of have to feel it, you have to get a little bit shocked by it,' said employee Jake White. 'Luckily we still have a lot of product and we can you outfitted to keep you nice and warm out there,' he said.

Among the customers was Ryan Garber, who was stocking up on ski pants.

'Me and my family were in Florida so it is kind of a different news flash coming back to St. Louis,' Garber said. 'Got to stock up.'

Meanwhile at AAA, they are stocking up on car batteries. They`ve replaced over 150 just since Monday and they expect the rest of the week to be even busier.

'I would just recommend that if they have the opportunity go out and get a battery test just for starting purposes,' said Josh Connors of AAA.  'In the bitter cold the vehicle is going to require about twice as much power in zero degrees for starting purposes.'

Connors also recommends letting your car warm up for at least five minutes before trying to drive when the temperature is bitter cold.

List of St. Louis area warming centers