Homeless flooding shelters during bitter cold

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– Staying warm in this bitter cold is more difficult for some people than for others.

It is especially hard on the homeless which is why the City of St. Louis is keeping open its emergency shelter, temporarily relocated to the Kingdom House gymnasium in Downtown St. Louis.

“Last year we only opened 13 nights,” said William Siedhoff, St. Louis Director of Human Services. “Now we have already been open a week and I anticipate we are going to be open a lot more the way things are going but we`ll be ready.”

The most the emergency shelter had housed so far is 86 people in one night. The city recently increased its capacity to 100 beds.

Another problem this cold weather causes in both the city and the county is water main breaks.

“We are beginning to see that pick up a little bit,” said Ann Dettmer, spokesperson for Missouri-American Water. “It is really about the temperature of the water in the river because when the cold water hits the pipes, if the river water gets below 37 degrees that cold water hits old pipes and we start to see water main breaks,” she said.

Missouri-American Water has spent $100 million over the past two years replacing old pipes in its system.

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