As area residents brace for "progressively worse" weather and colder temperatures during the coming days, Mayor Marlon Coleman said it important to "trust the system that we know works."
Responding to concerns about homeless residents, Coleman said those who are willing to register and "go through an orientation" can find "a warm bed at night" and "three meals a day" at Gospel Rescue Mission. Those who are interested must register at 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Coleman said those looking only for "a place to sleep" can still get a bed if they show up at 9:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those who are seeking only a bed at night, Coleman said, are not required to attend orientation.
"We a have a lot of people who are trying to do different things for the homeless population," Coleman said. "But I really hope we trust the system that we know works, and if that system gets overwhelmed we will look at another option."
The mayor urged residents "to acknowledge that this weather is going to get bad." He urged those who can to stay safe at home: Having "fewer people on the road" will be "less taxing ... on the system" and those who provide essential services.
The National Weather Service in Tulsa issued an alert for Muskogee County and the surrounding area, providing notice about the potential for a "high-impact winter storm." NWS meteorologists say a "strong, upper-level storm system is expected to move across the region Sunday into Monday."
The storm could draw "moisture over a deepening and very cold arctic air mass" that has settled across the area. Conditions could combine to produce "several inches of snow," which could become heavy at time with gusty winds causing "dangerous travel conditions."