Harlingen, Texas (KVEO) —With rolling power outages hitting our neighborhoods, the city of McAllen urges residents to use the shelters if they need a warm place to stay.
One of the shelters available is Salvation Army in McAllen reported being swamped with people checking in just an hour before it closed.
“They walk-in and then we help them with the registration process,” said shelter monitor Arturo Sanchez Jr. “Other shelters are a bit different, but here we have them sit down, go through the registration process and help them get comfortable.”
While the entire area around it is out of power, non-profit Catholic Charities Respite Center is functioning on generators, volunteers told KVEO.
“Thankfully [the lights] haven’t [gone out at Salvation Army], overnight they stayed on,” said Sanchez. “I know other areas of McAllen and the Valley, and the rest of Texas are off, so we’ve been lucky enough to keep them on.”
Counties across Texas have lost power since Sunday night and 400,607 customers as of 9:50 a.m. Tuesday continues without power, according to American Electric Power.
State-wide, Texas governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Military Department announced Monday that they released the National Guard to assist with 135 warm centers across the state.
Locally, the Salvation Army said that although they don’t have a back-up generator, they are prepared if the lights go out.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have a back-up generator, but we do have back-up lights and we have a lot of blankets,” said Sanchez.
The Respite Center declined an interview but volunteers at the door said they open their doors at 8 p.m. and are open until 8 a.m. Details of its COVID-19 protocol were not released.
The Salvation Army is screening for COVID-19 upon registration, which is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and meals are distributed from noon to 1 p.m. and 4 to 5 p.m.