Mayor’s Action Center fielding calls for help from Hoosiers without heat

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The Mayor’s Action Center has taken nearly 2,200 calls for help and information since Sunday night, and more than 450 people, who have been without power and heat, have been evacuated by public safety officials.

The families are being dropped off by Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies, the National Guard and IMPD at local shelters like the American Red Cross in Downtown Indianapolis.

“When it went off, I saw sparks outside,” said Debra Jenkins, an Indianapolis resident. Her family of five was picked up by a Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy after they lost power.

Some of the deputies have been driving their personal vehicles to make sure they can get into the neighborhoods that are still covered in snow.

“I’ve been everywhere from the south, far southwest side to the northeast side. There have been dozens ands dozens of pickups,” said Guy Hammons, Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy.

“It’s not like you can just go outside, and it’s 10 degrees out. This is not like that. These are life threatening temperatures,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, who also thanked city officials who braved the cold temperatures to answer calls at the MAC.

“It was freezing. We all had to get really close together, and go to sleep,” said Jenkins.

“They said they’d send someone to pick me up, and it took about two hours, and it was worth it now that I’m here,” said Neil Zoler, another Indianapolis resident who was brought to the Red Cross. He said he has a heart condition, and he does not have any family he can stay with.

“We’re very encouraged by the response across the State of Indiana to this very dangerous winter storm event, and I’m just very grateful for the Red Cross, and for the organizations that have opened shelters all across the State of Indiana. We have families here, that without this shelter, would find themselves frankly in a dangerous position,” said Governor Mike Pence.

Public safety officials are also bringing residents to the Indy Parks emergency shelters that have been opened if they need a warm place to stay as they wait on loved ones to pick them up.

The Red Cross shelter has taken in more than 170 people, and the staff said they still have plenty of room.

Contact the MAC by calling 327-4MAC.