Warming centers open around East Texas as widespread outages continue


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – East Texas cities are creating shelters to give people places to escape the cold. Officials are pleading with people to also check on and take in seniors and others who have gone hours without power.

In Tyler, Emergency Management officials worked with faith organizations to open warming centers for residents without power. Residents should call the warming center before making plans to relocate.

  • Dayspring United Methodist Church at 310 W. Cumberland Road has room for up to 100 residents. Contact Pastor Rusty McKee to let him know you are coming: (832)-967-8988. Pets can come into the warming center if they are inside a portable kennel.
  • St. Louis Baptist Church at 4000 Frankston Highway. Contact Pastor Caraway (903) 561- 2167 No pets are allowed.
  • Shiloh Road Church of Christ, 1801 Shiloh Road.
  • Grace Community Church – Old Jacksonville Campus, 3315 Old Jacksonville Highway. Contact Stephen Wickliffe at (903) 216-9651. No pets are allowed.
  • Salvation Army, 633 N. Broadway Avenue, (903) 592-4361
  • Highway 80 Rescue Mission, 601 E. Valentine St., (903) 363-9265
  • Bethel Baptist Church, located at 504 W. 32nd St., will open today at 5 p.m. and will be open overnight. Contact: Ricky Garner at (903) 630-7369. Tyler Fire is providing 50 cots at this facility. 

Residents should bring food, snacks, face masks, clothes, blankets, medications, diapers, formula and other essential items with them to the warming center.

Residents should wear a face mask and practice social distancing when at the centers.

People like Bruce and Carol Tarter are taking refuge at these warming centers.

“We lost power, we lost water, we actually started getting snow inside the trailer,” Carol Tarter said. “Thank the Lord that we’re here.”

Organizations who wish to open their doors as a city warming center should call Fire Chief David Coble at 903-521-8200.

Red Springs Volunteer Fire Department, 16759 Farm-to-Market Road 14, also is open as a warming center.


Green Acres Baptist Church will be open its student ministry building from noon to 6 p.m. for people without power so that they can warm up, charge their phones and have a cup of coffee.

In Arp, the old Arp fire station on Longview Street is being used as an emergency shelter.

“We are running into the issue of the elderly and others who have no power, heat source, or transportation,” Cherokee County Sheriff Brent Dickson said. “We will be working on transporting anyone who calls, to a warm family member or friends house. We are also working with Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville who has opened its doors for anyone who does not have a place to go.”

Dickson said that in Cherokee County, Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville and Alto Community Fellowship have opened their doors as shelters.

The city of Lufkin has opened its convention center as a shelter. Cots, blankets, water and food are available.

The city of Kilgore’s First Baptist Church was recently opened as a warming center. The shelter has food, and other basic essentials for those who need to warm up.

The City of Marshall has opened its Community Room at Fire State No. 1, 601 S. Grove St., as a shelter for people to get out of the bitter cold.

In Nacogdoches County, police, fire, and sheriff’s departments are making contact with those who are without shelter, distributing blankets and supplies as necessary,” said information from Nacogdoches OEM.

In Henderson County, warming sheltering locations have been established at Christian Youth Foundation, 3693 SH 31 E, Athens; Murchison School, 9661 E. Bankhead St, Murchison; and Lakeside Baptist Church 4470 SH 274, Trinidad.

“Anyone utilizing the warming shelter locations is responsible for bringing their own
blankets, pillows, etc. Masks will be required while inside the shelter and citizens are
encouraged to bring their own masks. Blankets and jackets will not be provided by
sheltering locations,” said Henderson County OEM.

In Longview, officials were asking people to check on seniors who may be without power.

“If you are able to, check on your neighbors to make sure they’re okay. Older adults and young children are more at risk in extreme cold. Just a moment of your time can mean a lot to someone who may need help,” said a statement from the city of Longview.

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