Arctic blast

The National Weather Service forecasts lows Wednesday morning in south Louisiana will dip into the upper 20s to low 30s.

A freeze warning -- meaning temperatures are expected to dip into the 20s for several hours -- has been issued for metro Baton Rouge and the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service has announced.

The parishes included in the warning are Pointe Coupee, West Feliciana, East Feliciana, St. Helena, Washington, St. Tammany, Iberville, West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, northern Tangipahoa, southern Tangipahoa and Pearl River.

Temperatures are expected to go as low as 26 degrees, and the deep freeze is expected to last five to 12 hours.

"Take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold. To prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes they should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly. Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above-ground pipes to protect them from freezing," the National Weather Service said.

A freeze warning wasn't issued for metro New Orleans where temperatures are expected to stay just above freezing, but city officials put together a freeze plan that will go into effect 8 a.m. Tuesday until 11 a.m. Wednesday. 

The city urges residents and their pets to remain indoors during the extreme cold. For homeless residents, New Orleans will offer free shelter during the freeze plan period. 

Free shelter locations include: 

Low Barrier Shelter: 1530 Gravier Street, accepting adults at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The Salvation Army: 4530 S. Claiborne Avenue, accepting adults at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Ozanam Inn: 843 Camp Street, accepting men at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The courtyard with heaters is open to anyone at any point during the freeze plan.

Covenant House: 611 N. Rampart Street, accepting 24/7 shelter to anyone 22 and younger, their dependent children and women with dependent children. 

New Orleans Mission: 1130 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, accepting adults at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Community Resource and Referral Center: 1530 Gravier Street, accepting adults 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Rebuild Center: 1803 Gravier Street, accepting adults 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

This is a developing story. More details to come.