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From the Archives: Deadly cold snap hits Los Angeles in 1988

From the Archives: Deadly cold snap hits Los Angeles in 1988
Dec. 28, 1988: Two homeless men sit against a wall on Towne Street in downtown Los Angeles as a woman warms herself near an open fire. (Douglas R. Burrows / Los Angeles Times)

In December 1988, a weeklong cold snap hit Southern California. Temperatures in the mid-20s were recorded in many agricultural areas. Downtown Los Angeles got down to the low 30s.

These two images from Dec. 28, 1988, found downtown Los Angeles homeless residents resorting to fires to stay warm.

Staff writer Eric Malnic reported in the Dec. 29, 1988, L.A. Times:

This morning should be the coldest yet in a week of chilly Southland weather that has apparently contributed to at least five deaths, seen the homeless flock to shelters in record numbers and forced farmers to employ a variety of strategies to save frost-sensitive crops, forecasters said Wednesday.

The continuing cold prompted city officials to extend offers of food and shelter to the homeless of Los Angeles on Wednesday evening for a seventh consecutive night. …

Deaths blamed on cold weather occurred in Orange and Santa Barbara counties, Long Beach, Glendale and downtown Los Angeles. Three of the dead were believed to have been homeless.

Dec. 28, 1988: Audridge Robertson keeps warm by a fire in downtown Los Angeles. This photo appeared
Dec. 28, 1988: Audridge Robertson keeps warm by a fire in downtown Los Angeles. Ellen Jaskol / Los Angeles Times

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