East Texans brace themselves for cold weather to come

By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE)- As the temperatures continue to drop Thursday evening, the National Guard and public shelters are ready in the event of an emergency.

The Red Cross has already opened a shelter in Lufkin and Nacogdoches in case of a widespread power outage.  The message Angelina County Judge, Wes Suiter is stressing, stay home if it's warm there, if not, find a place to go where it is.

However, if you think this is cold, get ready. It's only expected to get worse, but emergency officials are ready.

"We're going to be setup at the First Nazarene Church right off the loop, and in Nacogdoches we'll be setting up at the Nacogdoches Recreational Center and Red Cross is just trying to be proactive due to the temperature," said Glenna Harkness with the American Red Cross.

Gov. Rick Perry has activated the National Guard across Texas.  Some are deployed in Lufkin.

"The reason for that is just the anticipation if the weather does take a turn and doesn't do what it's predicted to do, then they will be here in support of law enforcement if they have major traffic issues," said Suiter.

The Red Cross worries for those who have already endured so much.

"We are concerned about the tornado clients because we know so many of them are choosing to remain in their houses before adequate building repairs can be made," said Harkness.

With the winds picking up speed, she fears tornado victims won't be able to stay warm.

"They do have holes still in their roof and so it's cold and the wind is going through."

Suiter said it's best not to be out in the cold.

"Stay inside all you can," he said.  "If you don't need to travel, don't.  Stay off the roads."

Some  East Texans chose to brave the bitter cold.

"It's plenty cold," said Elizabeth Tubbs.

Others are already making plans for Friday.

"I intend on going out of town to get away from East Texas cold weather," explained Casey Blake.

"Stay inside and cook soup and try to be warm," added Debra Tatum.

Robert Belasco said Friday he'll be doing, "the same thing I'm doing today, freeze."

If you need shelter, contact the American Red Cross, if you are a male you can go to the Salvation Army in Lufkin, but you must have identification.

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