Update: Shelter for Those Without Power Closes

Columbus Park Community Center

1515 South 24th Street

Open at 6 p.m.

Posted December 21

16 hours after opening, an Omaha shelter set up to help those without power has closed.

Channel Six News has learned the Columbus Park Community Center, which opened Thursday at 6 p.m, saw little participation. There were more volunteers there than people without power.

The head of Douglas County Emergency Management Paul Johnson tells Channel 6 News that, at the very least, organizing and implementing the shelter was a good learning experience to show that everyone was able to do it. "We're grateful for the Red Cross."

As of Friday morning, 7,229 OPPD customers are still without power. At its peak Wednesday night, more than 40,000 people did not have electricity.

Posted December 20

The city of Omaha, in collaboration with OPS, the Nebraska Humane Society and the Red Cross have been working since Thursday morning to work out logistics for a shelter in Omaha for those without power.

The shelter is at the Columbus Park Community Center at 24th & Woolworth Avenue.

The Nebraska Humane Society will be on hand to take care of animals for families who are waiting for the lights to come back on.

The Red Cross will be setting up sleeping arrangements and serving a hot meal along with providing minor medical care, if needed.

"Anybody who has the slightest need -- just show up," said Dick Miller with the Red Cross.

As of 9:30 p.m. Thursday, one person had come to the shelter and spent a few minutes getting warm before leaving.

The Red Cross will meet on Friday morning to decide how to proceed.

A shelter will also be open in Washington County, details have yet to be announced on where that will be, as well.

In Papillion, a day shelter has been set up at the Sarpy County YMCA, 1111 East 1st Street, for those who are dealing with no power. The Y encourages families to come in and work out, play in the bounce house, charge their phones and get a break from their cold homes.

"It's a place to get coffee -- warm up - rather than sitting in a cold house," said the Y's Ashley Suponchick.

Stay with Channel 6 News online and on air for continuing updates on this situation.

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