Severe cold increases Ohio shelter needs; dog found frozen

Severe cold and bone-chilling winds on Thursday gripped most of Ohio, where a dog was found frozen on a home's porch, and authorities scrambled to provide shelter for those residents needing it.

Temperatures climbed out of morning low single digits, although wind chill readings remained around zero in some areas. Bitter cold, with light snowfall, is expected to return this weekend as a weather system sweeps the state.

Cleveland said four recreation centers would remain open as warming centers over a 48-hour period. Officials said they would re-evaluate needs on Saturday.

Cleveland said other recreation centers could be used to get warm during regular business hours. The Cincinnati Recreation Commission said all 22 city rec centers were open Thursday for warming during regular hours.

Hamilton County authorities were investigating the cause of death for a homeless man found early Tuesday at a downtown bus stop in Cincinnati.

In Toledo, the humane society was looking into the death of a dog found "frozen solid" on a porch, cruelty investigator Megan Brown told The Blade .

"I don't know how long she was out there," Brown said.

A second dog was recovered shivering inside the home. The dogs' owner told The Blade utilities had been shut off but he had been providing for the dogs while living elsewhere. He said he didn't know how one dog, an American bully, got outside.

The Ohio Department of Aging said older people are at increased risk from such severe cold, from medication side effects to falling risks. The department urged people to check on family members, friends and neighbors to make sure they're warm enough and have their needed medications and sufficient food and water.

Authorities also said as winter worsens all Ohio residents should have three-day emergency plans in case they're stranded in their homes.

The Cincinnati Police Department reported a water main break downtown Thursday morning and said a salt truck was dispatched. Police urged drivers in the meantime to slow down to "avoid becoming medalists in Olympic Ice Ballet!"


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