A shelter at Harvest Time Church of God, at 1704 Washington St. West in Charleston, had 20 men stay Monday night, a worker there said.
"Most of them were coming in off the streets," said Gaynor Edwards. "A lot of the guys we get through here spend the summer sleeping under bridges. There's just no way they could make it out there on a night like last night."
The shelter is open 24 hours for men looking to stay out of the cold. Many of the Harvest Time's patrons know it's there, but the shelter will also go to bridges and other places they know men sleep. They'll give out thermoses filled with soup, as well as fliers letting them know where the shelter is located.
"We're here, and if anyone needs us, we're more than willing to provide any assistance in getting them out of the cold this winter," Edwards said.
A Red Cross warming shelter at the Boys and Girls Club on Charleston's West Side hosted three people last night, according to Red Cross spokeswoman Krista Farley Raines. The shelter was on standby Tuesday evening should people need to get out of the cold.
West Virginia American Water workers spent the day fixing pipes cracked by the frigid temperatures.
"We were prepared for that and made sure we had the resources in place to address that," said spokeswoman Laura Jordan. "We [did] have some crews working in the Kanawha Valley ... to fix leaks, particularly any that were causing ice in the roadways."
Because of dangerous working conditions for crews, utility employees were required to work in pairs, Jordan said.
Water main breaks were widespread Monday and Tuesday, including several in the Huntington and Barboursville areas. As of Tuesday afternoon, a boil-water advisory had been issued for several thousand customers in the Barboursville area, from the Huntington Mall and U.S. 60 to Ona.
Other pipes broke on South Ruffner Road in Charleston and Georges Drive in St. Albans. At the federal courthouse in Clarksburg, ruptured water pipes flooded the offices of U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley and Magistrate Judge John Kaull.
West Virginia American Water only handles breaks outside customers' homes, but Jordan said the utility advised its customers on preventing and addressing freezing pipes in the days prior to cold temperatures.
"To prevent it, customers can open up their cabinet doors to any sinks that may have plumbing exposed to exterior walls," Jordan said.
Residents can also leave water running from faucets -- about the thickness of a pencil lead -- to prevent freezing.
For those whose pipes have frozen, the utility recommends shutting off their main valves to prevent leaks from thawing. If customers can locate the point at which water is frozen, using indirect heat from a hair dryer is helpful in thawing them, Jordan said. "We don't recommend any type of open flame or kerosene heater or anything like that," she said.
Once thawed, the main line can be slowly opened to make sure no leaks or cracks have occurred in pipes.
The cold caused problems for some Kanawha County businesses.
Workers at Qdoba in the Dudley Farms Plaza arrived at a store without heat Tuesday morning. The restaurant closed for the day because no one could repair its heating system.
At D&D Outfitters, frozen pipes forced the store to close early on Tuesday.
Aoleen Stavrulakis and her husband, Manoli, operate Pizza Barbarossa in Dudley Farms and Café Creperi in the Shoppes at Trace Fork. They closed both restaurants Tuesday because of cold temperatures.
Staff writers Caitlin Cook and Lydia Nuzum and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215. Reach Rachel Molenda at rachel.mole...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.