Several “warming stations” throughout Texoma help keep residents without power warm

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— With all of those power outages throughout Texoma, a Wichita Falls church and a community center in Burkburnett opened its doors to any residents needing a warm place to stay.

It’s cold, really cold, and you are nice and warm in your home and then it happens. Snuggling turns into shivering, both from cold and from fear.

“Our power went out about 2:30 this morning and its still out now,” Lucas said.

Something that nearly 20,000 Oncor customers experienced Monday morning just in the Wichita Falls area alone, many of those were in Burkburnett.

“We made the decision at about 6 am to open up a warming station with the projected time of Oncor getting power reinstated being an extended period of time,” Burkburnett Fire Chief, Harold Watkins said.

One family that’s taking advantage of the warming station in Burkburnett is William Lucas and his five kids. Lucas said they headed for this warm zone when it fell to 46 degrees in his house.

“They opened it up thankfully for us so we’re really appreciative of the city of Burk to do that, where we can stay warm,” Lucas said.

And back in Wichita Falls, several churches opened its doors to the public, like City Hope Church.

“We’ve got folks that are willing to drive and pick people up if they’re able to if it’s safe enough for them to do that so they’re out picking up people and bringing them in,” Pastor Ben Murray said.

Where they are greeted with a warm welcome and even warm food, and while City Hope was reaching out its arms to the cold, others reached out to help the church “Equipping Center Ministries” has been gathering donations for the homeless and had more than they could give out, so they decided to help a church that was helping others.

“Jesus says this, he says giving to them was like giving to me, giving to the least of these, he said when you gave to them you were giving to me, and this is where our heart was. Those who were in need, those who didn’t have anything to drink, no food, nowhere to stay, they were sick. He said giving to them and coming to them when you did this, you were giving to me,” Israel Mendoza said.

A common trend across Texoma, giving to others in need and creating a warm feeling that will remain long after this cold spell passes.

Both the Burkburnett Community Center and City Hope Church said they will continue to house residents as long as they need to and encourage anyone to pitch in and help.

If you’d like to make a donation to either place, contact Watkins at (940) 867-4547. To contact Pastor Ben Murray, call or text (940) 263-1171.

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