With extreme cold weather expected in the coming days, the Strafford County Extreme Cold Weather Warming Center will be opening Thursday night and operate nightly through Monday morning, the City of Dover announced.

The Emergency Management Directors of Dover, Rochester and Somersworth — referred to as the Tri-Cities — will be activated the center from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. each night. The City of Dover will be overseeing the operation of the center.

The announcement referenced "life-threatening cold temperatures" that are expected to begin late Thursday.

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The center, located at 30 Willand Drive in Somersworth, is available to help at-risk or unsheltered individuals receive shelter from extreme cold conditions. Reservations are not required, and the announcement said COVID-19 precautions have been put in place. Meals will not be provided.

Additionally, Dover said COAST Bus agreed to transport anyone on their way to the warming center to the closest bus stops at no cost. On Route 1, the nearest stop is the Holy Trinity Church at 404 High Street in Somersworth. On Route 12, the closest stop is Key Buick GMC in Somersworth. COAST Bus does not operate on Sunday.

The announcement said those in need of assistance with basic emergency needs should contact the welfare departments of their respective communities. Those resources can be found below:


The Public Welfare department is located at the McConnell Center, 61 Locust St. in Dover. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (603) 516-6500. For those who need assistance after hours, call Police Dispatch at 742-4646.


The Welfare / Human Services department is located at City Hall, 1 Government Way in Somersworth. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (603) 692-9509.


The Municipal Welfare Department is located at City Hall, 31 Wakefield St., in Rochester. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (603) 332-3505.

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