East Texans brace themselves for winter blast

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Arctic blast isn't even here yet.

But Tuesday, James Odell hit the hardware store, picking up supplies to fix his busted pipes.

"I woke up about 6:45a.m. and the pipes were blowing, everywhere," said Odell.  The pipes froze, Monday night after temperatures reached the low 20's.

It's a good thing he was not looking for faucet covers.  Sam Acker, assistant manager of Sam R. Hill Lumber, has been out of them since Monday.  They expect a batch to come before the weekend.

But folks aren't just after faucet covers, Acker said.  "Antifreeze, pipe-wrap, insulation, that's every other question," he said.

Captain Zach Bell expects the Salvation Army of Tyler to reach at its 200-bed capacity soon.

"We're ready with a nice warm building with nice warm food," he said.

The Army is already about 75 percent full.  Overflow beds have doubled the space that is available for anyone needing shelter from the cold.

P.A.T.H. has been requesting heat assistance funds for the past three months.  They are limited to 10 appointments a day.

"The more funding we receive, the more appointments we can make, the more people we can help," said Christina Fulsom, executive director.

Those who can help themselves, took advantage of what was left on store shelves.

"These things work wonderfully," said Anna Edmonson, reaching for a packet of foot-warmers.

Sandra Houston found a space heater she couldn't pass up.  "I just want to be cozy and warm," she said. "It's too chilly outside."

And, just think:  we have not even reached the half-way point of the winter season.

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