Shelters prepare to open in final hours before storm

The Salvation Army Bristol Corps has 32 beds available for people to stay the night. They expect to exceed capacity during the snow storm. (WCYB/Caleb Perhne)

The Salvation Army made final preparations Saturday to open its shelter. They opened their doors all day long because of the cold.

"This is going to be really extraordinary this evening,” Maj. Art Fultz said. “We're in uncharted territory this evening, so that gives us some cause for concern."

The shelter has 32 beds ready to go. It was half full Friday night, but now they're expecting to exceed capacity.

No one will be turned away. They're adding extra cots in the hallways to make sure everyone has a place to get out of the weather.

The American Red Cross started preparing Thursday. Locations are on standby to open after the storm strikes.

"Our volunteers are ready to go,” Kalen Collins said. “Staff is ready to go, and resources are there. We just have to wait and see what the weather turns out like."

Meanwhile, some drivers are heading home instead to try to escape the storm.

Bill Reynolds lives in the central part of Virginia. He's headed back to work to keep the roads clear.

"I work nightshift for VDOT,” Reynolds said. “We cancelled our vacation a day early so we could come back."

Ashley Hensley was on vacation with her family, but she headed home Saturday for Buchanan County.

"We had to cancel our last night, and we're heading back home and had to cut our plans short,” she said. “We didn't want to get stuck in the snow."

Her kids were disappointed to end vacation but excited for the snow ahead.

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