Weather News

By Alyse Messmer


According to AccuWeather, Bellingham will be dealing with below-freezing temperatures for a few more days, going down into the 20s every night until Saturday.

Here is where you can find shelter from the cold, or keep your home warm in the bitter temperatures.

Keep your doors, windows and garage doors closed and sealed.

Use heaters, space heaters, or wall heaters. But, be careful how you use them. According to the City of Bellingham, any type of heater should be checked before use to avoid fire hazards.

Follow manufacturer instructions on your system to check that it will operate safely, or contact a professional for help.

Wall heaters can also be dangerous if they are not checked for any ignition and ventilation problems. These types of heaters can leak carbon monoxide, so use extreme caution before operating the heaters.

How to keep your home warm in freezing weather. | Bellingham Herald How to keep your home warm or find shelter in this week’s below-freezing temperatures

Space heaters can also be a fire hazard if they are left on when you go to bed or leave the house. Space heaters must be three feet away from combustible materials, such as beds, blankets, furniture, or clothing, and must be kept away from water.

According to Erie Insurance, pipes can freeze easily in such cold weather, and sometimes even burst. Facing this cold weather, here are a few practical ways to prevent your pipes around your whole home from freezing:

If you turn on your faucet and no water is coming out, you may have a frozen pipe (or a leak.) Here’s what you should do:

Call a plumber or attempt to thaw our pipes yourself (this can be dangerous). Then you can identify if your issue is a leak, a burst pipe, a frozen pipe, etc.

How to fix a frozen pipe:If you want to attempt to thaw a frozen pipe yourself without a professional plumber, keep your faucet open, apply heat to the pipe with a heating pad, space heater, or a hairdryer, and continue to apply heat until water flows. Do not use any open-flame devices such as a blowtorch to thaw pipes, and if the frozen pipes are located inside an exterior wall, call a professional.

Whatcom County Health Department recently announced an Overnight Severe Weather Shelter for those without shelter from the cold, and also runs year-round shelters for those who are living homeless in the area.

For those seeking shelter or offering help to others, more information can be found by calling 360-788-7983.

For immediate shelter, there is a men’s and women’s overnight shelter and day center located at 1530 Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham. This shelter is operated by Lighthouse Mission Ministries year-round and is open 24/7. The shelter can accommodate 200 people, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. They also offer showers and restrooms, laundry services, shelter for pets, and COVID-19 testing for anyone who is symptomatic.

According to Bridget Reeves, chief operating officer at Lighthouse Mission Ministries, everyone is welcome.

“I highly recommend that people seek shelter - both day and night - from this cold snap,” Reeves said in an email to the Bellingham Herald. “If they are on the fence about doing so I would recommend that they call and speak to a staff member at the Lighthouse Mission’s Basecamp 24/7 at 360-733-5120 or the Opportunity Council’s Homeless Outreach Team Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 360-312-3717.”


This story was originally publishedFebruary 23, 2022 2:30 PM.

Alyse Messmer
twitter emailAlyse Messmer is a service journalism reporter at the Bellingham Herald. If you like stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a subscription to our newspaper.