By News-Register staff • 

Snow expected; warming shelters ready for use

If you’re traveling for Christmas or over the week before New Year’s, be sure to prepare for winter conditions, National Weather Service forecasters are warning. Locally, warming shelters are planning to open to help people deal with the predicted colder-than-normal temperatures this weekend and through the coming week.

Weather forecasters said the temperature may fall to 23 degrees Sunday night, 27 Monday night, and a deeply chilly 20 Tuesday night, with daytime temperatures in the low 30s.

Snow, sometimes mixed with rain, will fall starting Saturday night. Snow and ice may accumulate on the valley floor, making driving conditions treacherous.

Portland General Electric, which serves parts of Yamhill County, suggested that travelers carry water and extra blankets and let loved ones know their whereabouts on their journey.

At home, they suggested people prepare a power outage kit, just in case. Flashlight or headlamps, a battery-powered or hand crank radio, a 72-hour supply of food that doesn’t need heating should be included, along with extra blankets and bottled water.

Plenty of precipitation already has fallen on the county. To help people concerned about flooding, the county has a sandbag filling station at the Yamhill County Public Works department near the fairgrounds in McMinnville. Each city also has a sandbag filling station; call local public works departments for more information.

Warming shelters around Yamhill County plan to open whenever the temperature drops to 32 degrees or there’s an inch or more of driving rain in a 24-hour period.

At the First Baptist Church, 125 S.E. Cowls St. in McMinnville, the Rev. Erika Marksbury said volunteers will staff the low-barrier shelter from 8:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. starting Dec. 24, and during freezing weather. Anyone who needs to be indoors is welcome. Showers and food will be available.

Opening the shelter depends on getting enough volunteers, Marksbury said. To volunteer for a four-hour shift, go to the sign-up sheet online,, or call the church, at 503-472-7941.

Other warming shelters also are preparing to open if the temperature falls, according to Howie Harkema of Encompass Yamhill Valley, a nonprofit that advocates for people in need.

He said warming shelters are planned at several other places in McMinnville. The Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission, 14th and Kirby streets, will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. nightly. The public library will be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. 

The Sheridan Public Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Newberg Emergency Shelter at 615 College St. will be open for warming from 6:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. Thursdays through Tuesdays. Other shelters in Newberg include the Chehalem Cultural Center, Youth Outreach, the public library and Northwest Christian Church at 2315 Villa Road.

Shelters require masks and social distancing.


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