UPDATE: Warming center open on Frankston Highway for anyone without power

Published on Monday, 3 March 2014 13:06 - Written by BY FAITH HARPER, fharper@tylerpaper.com

A warming center on Frankston Highway is open to anyone without power.

“We want people to know we are here to take care of them, and we don’t want people to be suffering because of this (weather),” said Tammy Prater, executive director of The American Red Cross.

St. Louis Baptist Church, 4000 Frankston Highway, opened at 11 a.m. with snacks, water, blankets and heat, said Charles E. Williams, a representative with the Red Cross and the church.

Ms. Prater said so far it is the only shelter in the county opened by Red Cross, and it will remain open as long as there is a need. The organization is watching weather reports and power outages to determine how long it will be open, she said.

“If power stars to come up and people don’t need a shelter overnight, then there won’t be any point in staying overnight,” she said. “We are playing it by ear and we are monitoring things.”

Other warming centers are set up along Interstate 20 for stranded travelers, but are not associated with the Red Cross, however the organization is on standby incase those centers need to remain open overnight. Ms. Prater said if that happens, the center will start to mobilize supplies including cots, blankets and food.

Updated 11:45 a.m.:

Bodacious BBQ at FM 14 and I-20 open as warming center.One on standby in Van as potential warming center.

Original article:

Red Springs fire station has been opened as a shelter and is at capacity right now.

First Baptist Church in Lindale is being opened as a shelter at the request of the Lindale fire department.

Previous related article:

The extreme winter weather gripping the region has prompted City of Tyler Emergency Management officials to open a “warming center” for those needing to escape the cold, according to a city news release.

The temporary warming center, operated by the American Red Cross, is located at the St. Louis Baptist Church, 4000 Frankston Highway.

The site can house 140 occupants and will provide light refreshments, including coffee and snacks, for those in need.

“Officials will continue to evaluate weather conditions throughout the day and will decide on the need for overnight sheltering services as the day progresses,” the news release states. “If additional shelters are needed for long-term stays, officials will release this information, along with the locations of any potential sites.”