VAN WERT – Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur said on Saturday that, thanks to a cooperative effort of local organizations, several people were provided shelter during last week’s extreme cold weather.

There was extreme need especially Wednesday and Thursday, said Mazur, when temperatures fell to as low as -17 degrees on Wednesday morning.

Shelter was provided at the Knights of Columbus.

“This was a collaborative effort between the Knights of Columbus, local ministerial association, Red Cross and various other organizations,” said Mazur. “Upwards to at least 10 people took advantage of the facility.”

Mazur said that one of his biggest concerns was that those citizens being housed were protected. He praised Van Wert Police Department officers for making numerous visits to check on those being housed as well as looking in on the situation.

“They monitored the situation both days to make sure that things were in order,” said Mazur. “I get extremely concerned about security fears in such situations but all of those volunteering and participating in the situation took good care of things. There were no incidents.”

Mazur noted that Red Cross volunteers kept bringing water and food to those being housed.

“It’s a testimony to the caring spirit of our Van Wert residents. There’s no place like a small community to step up to the need under such circumstances. I would like to thank all of those who stepped up to those in need during this time,” said Mazur.

Van Wert County EMA/weather specialist Rick McCoy said that this past weekend represented one of the biggest temperature switches he has seen in some time. Temperatures rose from a low cold snap reading of -17 degrees last Wednesday to Sunday afternoon’s high of 54 degrees, nearly a 70 degree rise in temperatures.

“This week is going to be quite a flip from last week,” said McCoy. “From last week’s cold and snowy blast, we are going to be going into a fairly mild week, with temperatures hovering in the 40’s most of the time.

“Precipitation this week will come mainly in the form of rain,” continued McCoy. “There is a chance for some freezing rain in midweek so residents will want to keep checking local forecasts.”

McCoy said that the long range forecast calls for a cool down near the weekend. He noted that National Weather Service officials are looking at the possibility for a return to snow at that time.