Warming shelters open to public as some Central Texas residents lose power

Posted at 7:46 PM, Feb 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-02 12:43:16-05

WACO, Texas — As icy weather in Central Texas has started to knockout power for some residents, officials are urging people to use warming shelters instead of trying to brave the conditions.

Officials at the warming stations say their numbers are up and down. They want to stress, there’s still space if you need to get out of the cold.

The doors at the Dewey Park Recreation Center are still open to the public.

“The numbers usually fluctuate," said Ryan Dirker, assistant emergency management coordinator, Waco-McLennan County. "It’s really hard to nail down in these sorts of operations — to know the exact number of how many people are going to be in need. Over the last several days we’ve seen anywhere between five to 12, I believe.”

The figures aren’t big, but each person using this warming center needs it desperately.

It’s the same at the Salvation Army warming shelter in Temple.

The centers provide warmth around the clock as temperatures haven’t topped freezing the past few days.

Whether you are dealing with a power outage or fear of your electric bill becoming too expensive from running your heat or a poorly insulated home, these warming shelters have space for you if needed.

“It’s warm and it's available," Dirker said. "We don’t want you out in the cold. We certainly don’t want anybody to get hurt or lose their lives over this. So, if you need a warm place to go and you need a cot for the night, we are available to you. It’s not much but it will keep you out of the cold."