Tornado victims try to stay warm

By Whitney Grunder - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - As the tarps sheltering these damaged homes dance in the chilling winds, residents inside do what they can to keep warm.

"I'm going to have some more tarps and double it," resident Debra Harris said. "You know because the house is staying a whole lot colder."

"The insulation got wet in the attic and in the wall. So it's uh a lot of air coming in through under the roof," resident Perry Dixon.

Harris says she will tough it out.

"We're having to burn the top burners and the oven and the electric heater," she said.

She admits keeping the gas stove running could be dangerous, but it's what she must do to keep warm.

"I'm just trying to stay in my house as much as I can and try to go from there," she said.

And she believes leaving her home for temporary shelter is not an option.

"I don't want to leave my stuff here in the house and then you know people take advantage of people that's gone away from the home," Harris said.

The Red Cross says, so far no one has taken advantage of the shelter they're providing.

"I'd like to stay by my house if it don't get worse than what it is, I think I can be alright," Dixon said.

"There's no place like home," resident Otis Almond said.

Some residents are afraid of leaving their homes and valuables behind.

Since the storm hit, police have been patrolling the damaged neighborhoods and say they've only received one report where someone took items out of a damaged home.

"We wanted to give people a sense of normalcy, a sense of security," Lufkin Police spokesman Lt. David Young said.

So far so good. But still, storm victims aren't taking any chances.

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