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Red Cross to Close Watertown, Harrisville Shelters

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (Dec. 24, 2013) – The American Red Cross on Tuesday afternoon will close the shelters it opened in Watertown and Harrisville for residents of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties who were unable to remain in their homes after this past weekend’s ice storm.

All Red Cross shelters are now closed as National Grid continues to restore power to thousands of homes throughout Northern New York.

“The residents who stayed in our shelters have returned home, and there is no indication that residents will need additional sheltering,” said Jane Gendron, Community Executive of the American Red Cross of Northern New York. “We’ll continue to monitor the situation and our shelters will remain on standby if the need arises again.”

To ensure that residents had a warm place to stay if needed, the Red Cross opened shelters at Norwood-Norfolk Central School in Norwood (St. Lawrence County), Watertown High School in Watertown (Jefferson County), and Harrisville Central School in Harrisville (Lewis County). A total of 13 residents stayed in the shelters – a combined six on Sunday and Monday nights in Watertown, and seven on Monday night in Harrisville. Red Cross volunteers provided each shelter resident with a cot, blanket, food and personal hygiene items.

In addition to the Red Cross shelters in Watertown, Harrisville and Norwood, the Red Cross provided fire departments and other organizations throughout Northern New York with supplies for their shelters. The Red Cross provided cots, blankets, food and personal hygiene items for shelters at the fire departments in Alexandria Bay, Chaumont, Henderson and Sackets Harbor, the American Legion in Dexter, the Recreation Center in Cape Vincent, Colton-Pierrepont Junior/Senior High School in Colton, and Gouverneur Central School in Gouverneur.

Here’s a rundown of the Red Cross response after the ice storm:

• Opened three shelters in Norwood, Watertown and Harrisville, with a total of 13 overnight stays.

• Deployed 29 volunteers and eight staff members to transport supplies, work at the shelters, provide mental health counseling, and perform other tasks.

• Provided 230 blankets, 215 cots, 90 comfort kits with personal hygiene items, and 96 hot meals to fire departments and other organizations for their shelters. The Red Cross also worked with its partners to help provide food for the 73 residents who stayed at those shelters.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook at