The arctic grip on Terrell intensified overnight as the city and its residents continue to reel from its brutal effects Tuesday.
Power outages have left hundreds in the city without power, and Terrell’s hotels were full Tuesday with people seeking warmth. The City of Terrell announced early this afternoon that it has two warming centers open. One is the Rosenbaum Room at the Terrell Police Station, 1100 N. Highway 34, and the other is at the Rockwall and Brin Church of Christ, 407 N. Rockwall. The centers will be open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. They will not be open overnight. There will be no cots or blankets, pillows, food, medication or USB ports. However, there will be regular power outlets for charging and restrooms. People are requested to wear facemasks and maintain appropriate social distancing due to the pandemic.
Epic Life Church, 646 N. Rockwall, also is acting as a warming shelter until 9 p.m.
First Christian Church in Terrell, 405 N. Adelaide St., will be open as an overnight shelter. Enter the Charles E. Mull Family Center from Brin Street.
Here is a list of other warming centers in Kaufman County, according to Kaufman County’s Office of Emergency Management:
- The Forney Police Department lobby is open as a warming station. There is a public restroom, and we have a limited number of outlets to plug in devices.
- C-Life Church at 204 FM 1641 in Forney is open as a warming station. This location has indicated they are willing to serve as a shelter and stay open tonight.
- Ables Springs Fire Station; 30000 FM 429 North. Enter through the back door into the community room. Available as a warming center and overnight shelter.
- First Baptist Church Kaufman; 2000 West Fair Street Kaufman. Available as a warming center and overnight shelter.
- *People going to these shelters are responsible for their own bedding and personal necessity items, including food.
Meanwhile, streets and roads remained coated with frozen snow and ice as some motorists struggle with traction and slippery conditions. City utility workers were responding to numerous burst water lines across town as some yards were transformed into ice rinks. Crews last night responded to a major underground line break on Walnut Street just north of Griffith Avenue.
On Monday, two residents of the Country View Manor Nursing Home, 1900 North Frances St., suffered minor injuries after a ceiling collapsed on them, according to a city new release. Members of the Terrell Fire Department responded to the incident at about 1:30 p.m. They discovered that a water pipe in the attic had broken, which caused the collapse. Four rooms in the affected wing sustained damage.
“Our primary concern was the safety of the residents,” said Terrell Fire Chief Shane LeCroy. “Two residents sustained minor injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital for assessment.”
Fire Department personnel removed water and debris, shut down the wing and relocated the residents to another part of the facility.
The overnight low in Terrell was minus 3 degrees. The high today was forecast to be 21 before a second winter storm slams the area later tonight on into Wednesday with snow totals expected from 2 to 6 inches.
Tonight’s forecast calls for a low of 19 degrees with a high Wednesday of 28. Thursday is also expected to be cold with a high of 31 and a low of 11. On Friday, expect a high of 31 and a low of 18. Saturday is expected to exceed the freezing mark with a high close to 40 and a low of 37.
The storm has overtaxed the state’s electrical grid, and rolling blackouts are expected throughout the next few days. At noon Tuesday, Oncor Energy was reporting 17,365 outages in Texas affecting 1.13 million customers in its service area. A total of 539 were in Terrell, and the company had not estimated a time for when power would be restored.
“At this time, ERCOT is unable to predict when grid conditions will stabilize and urges all customers to prepared for extended outages to continue,” Oncor stated.
Gov. Greg Abbott has requested and received a federal emergency declaration for Texas.
The City of Terrell announced Monday the temporary suspension of all non-essential services due to weather conditions of extreme low temperatures and continuing precipitation. That declaration remained in place Tuesday. Essential services of police, fire, public works and water utilities will remain in place.
City Hall, Housing Department, Municipal Court, Airport and the library will be closed all day Tuesday. Garbage collection his been halted pending improved road conditions. Kaufman County offices also were closed Tuesday.
The Public Services Department has a variety of resources to address city intersections, bridges and major city roadways and will remain active throughout the day. Emergency teams will address issues with water service and other impacts of the winter storm.
Tuesday night’s City Council has been cancelled. Tuesday’s planned meeting of the Kaufman County Commissioner’s Court has been rescheduled to Friday.
Terrell ISD cancelled school Tuesday as well as Wednesday and Thursday. A decision on reopening Friday will be forthcoming.