City, County Response Lines Fielding Cold Weather Calls
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Since Monday, operators at the City of Pittsburgh’s 311phone bank and Allegheny County’s 211 phone bank have been on standby to take calls from anyone in the area with a weather-related problem.
“We had 440 calls yesterday, and 100 of those were in our extended hours,” City of Pittsburgh’s 311 Director Wendy Urbanic said.
The calls were about everything from frozen pipes to clearing snowy roads.
Also, there were a lot of questions about garbage pickup, which was suspended for Tuesday only in the city.
“We had one woman who called here she was 92. She had no family and she asked where she could call if she had any problems. We assured her we’d be there,” said Urbanic. “She said, ‘What if it’s the middle of the night?’ We told her to call 911.”
At warming centers throughout the city and the county, turn out has been light. But for those in immediate need, the centers have been life savers.
“I’ve been outside the last 15 days,” said one person at the warming shelters.
The city says the centers play an important role in the event a larger apartment building or complex would lose heat or power. These centers are ready and able to handle what may come their way.
“If we only save one person, imagine if that person was your cousin, brother, sister, mother, aunt, uncle, dad. Saving one person is worthwhile, so it’s worthwhile for us to be here,” said Dick Skrinjar, of the City of Pittsburgh Senior Service.