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Warming Center primed if power goes off

Depending on the severity of Wednesday's weather, the new warming center at the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center may swing into action this week for the first time.

Weather forcasters are calling for as much as a foot of snow in some low-lying areas of the Puget Sound area overnight and through Wednesday.

Dick Melton, who is the warming center's coordinator, said Tuesday the large generator is ready to keep the center toasty if the power goes off on the island. It is kept on manual mode status, so Melton turned it on Tuesday afternoon in case it's needed.

"I talked to Phyllis Mann (director of Kitsap County's Department of Emergency Management)," Melton said, "and she said the call is ours on whether to open it or not. We definitely will if the power goes off."

The station will be operated by American Red Cross staff, though local volunteers will be involved, too. The Commons area can handle approximately 100 people on an emergency basis.

Melton said islanders should come to the Senior Center on Bjune Drive if the powers goes off and they need to be in a warmer environment.

If people need transportation, he said, they may call the Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers at 824-4441. They may also call the Senior Center at 842-1616 and there will be a message regarding the power and the warming center's status.

For Bainbridge Island School District, parents may call 780-1556 as early at 5:30 a.m. for bus and closure information. For other emergency information, please call the Bainbridge Island Police Department at 842-5251 or Fire Department at 842-7686.

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