WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – With temperatures tumbling below freezing on Wednesday night, shelters and businesses across the area are prepping for what feels like a continuation of winter.
The Good Shepard Center in Wilmington has been under a white flag program for the past three onths which means their doors are open to anyone who needs shelter.
A line of people waiting wrapped around the building on Martin Street on Wednesday evening.
The shelter provides folks with a warm place to sleep and also helps them get their life back together with counseling sessions.
Organizers say this winter has been the busiest they've had in years and it's all because of the extremely cold temperatures.
Associate Director, Verna Mansfield says now is the time where the less fortunate need them the most.
"Most people are only one paycheck away from losing their house or losing their car, or whatever payment that might be," said Mansfield. "You have to remember that we're not above that. It could happen to any of us."
The white flag will continue to fly until the weather finally warms up. Mansfield say they're happy to welcome new clients as long as they meet the basic requirements to be assisted.
While the winter weather is certainly tough on people, gardeners say it's been just as hard on business.
The Transplanted Garden in Wilmington spent the afternoon covering their flowers and plants to protect them from the cold night air.
Tom Ericson, owner of the business say this winter has been the coldest one they've seen in the last 15 years.
Ericson says they've actually seen fewer customers this year than normal due to the cold weather – making it difficult for his plants or his business to grow.
"This has really been a bizarre winter, especially this late in the season," said Ericson. "We've had some late frost before but never this consistently cold all winter."
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