Winter storm warning goes into effect this afternoon

Our area is now under a winter storm warning this afternoon through Friday.

According to the National Weather Service, the blast of Arctic weather will likely bring a flash freeze tonight with temperatures dropping more than 30 degrees in just a few hours. Actual low temperatures could get as low as -6 tonight. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph will bring wind chill values down to 25 or 30 below zero. Wind chills that low could cause frostbite in as little as 15 minutes.

Local emergency officials are announcing that some Columbus parks facilities will be open to get shelter from the weather for those in need.

On Friday, The Commons will be open from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.. Hamilton Center will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Foundation For Youth will be open from 10 to 6:30 and Nexus Park will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On Saturday, The Commons will be open from 10 to 6 and Nexus Park will be open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Brighter Days Homeless Shelter will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. tonight into Friday morning, and from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. Friday into Saturday. It will be open all day on Sunday, Christmas Day. A meal will be served at the shelter Friday and Saturday evening, and all three meals on Sunday.

On Saturday, a city bus will be transporting people to the Commons and back to Brighter Days.

The Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 4 p.m. this afternoon to 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.

The Indiana National Guard is being activated ahead of the winter storm. Governor Eric Holcomb will have 150 troops working as highway assistant teams. The Guard members will be positioned in the northern third of the state, which is expected to receive the worst snowfall. All of the state is under a winter storm warning except for three northern counties near Lake Michigan that are under blizzard warnings.

TTWN Media Networks Inc. contributed to this report