By Matt Barbour, Weekend Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
(WRCB)- If you were brave enough to venture out on Saturday, you knew first-hand winter decided to stop by the Tennessee Valley. Several folks were determined to get out and battle the freezing temps. It was really the painful wind that had people moaning and groaning.
You could almost hear how cold it was as the wind blew across the Walnut Street bridge.
The afternoon sun may have been shining brightly Saturday, but looks were deceiving. People were bundled up, drinking hot coffee, trying their best to stay warm.
"You have to have one day of this in Winter. Or else you don't know it's winter! Or is it Spring?">
It is a question that many were asking until Saturday.
But Susan Crawford was prepared, for the most part.
"Gloves and a scarf for your neck. And if I was really smart a hat, but I'm not that smart," Crawford laughs.
While the winter temperatures are a shock to the system for most, it is the brutal wind that will get you. Many were caught off guard by the wind chill being in the teens Saturday.
"It's really cold and windy. I was not expecting this," says Amy Stetson.
Stetson is visiting a friend from New York City and it seems the weather followed her to Chattanooga.
"He told me it was going to be warm. And so I'm wearing all of his clothes."
She has her own remedy to fight the cold.
"The bridge is very cold because it's completely exposed and we just did that. So I think we're going to go find a beer to warm up."
For others, it is a walk in the park.
"We're just used to the weather because we're from the Ukraine. So we like to enjoy this beautiful weather that God has given us," says Andriy Dundiy.
Over at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, workers say an increase of people are seeking shelter. They welcome anyone who needs a place of warm refuge.
"We can provide them meals, clothing and a warm blanket, a warm place to be," says Cathy Long, in charge of Family Housing.
"A little taste is good, not too much. Just a couple days and then we'll be done I hope," says Crawford.
If you know someone who needs a place to sleep overnight, the Chattanooga Community Kitchen is open 24/7 through the month of March.
They have been running around 130 people a night and expect that number to jump to around 200 on cold nights like Saturday.
Workers say they can also use more blankets and clothes and any donations are welcomed.