An East Texas reporter's perspective - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

An East Texas reporter's perspective

KTRE's Christel Phillips snaps a photo as she waits in line to go through a checkpoint for the Inauguration. KTRE's Christel Phillips snaps a photo as she waits in line to go through a checkpoint for the Inauguration.
Photo courtesy of KTRE's Christel Phillips Photo courtesy of KTRE's Christel Phillips
Inauguration goers braved hours of temperatures in the low 20s with a light wind and overcast skies to witness the historic event. Inauguration goers braved hours of temperatures in the low 20s with a light wind and overcast skies to witness the historic event.

WASHINGTON (KTRE) - The mood in Washington, D.C. this inauguration day has been warmly festive, but the chilly weather has been taking its toll.

Medical stations around the event handled 490 patients with 31 transported to hospitals. The main problems reported were falls, dehydration, hypothermia and chest pains.  Compounding the problem: Warming tents and other facilities on the Mall were late opening because traffic and crowds delayed staffers from reaching them.

KTRE's Christel Phillips is in Washington with her family for the Inauguration.  She has been keeping in touch by cell phone and e-mail.  She said for ten hours she has braved temperatures in the low 20s with a light wind and overcast skies.  She said while her feet felt frozen and she was chilled to the core, she would not have traded the experience for anything. 

Christel was along the parade route as dozens of marching bands and other groups from around the country marched by.  She said she was able to get a glimpse of the new President and hopes her photo of that moment turns out.  She said cold temperatures are playing havoc with both her camera and cell phone. 

She said for the most part, the huge crowd was very patient and quiet, but there was a moment before the Inauguration this morning as she was waiting in line to go through one of the checkpoints when two charter buses came through.  She said because there was not enough police or national guard on the ground to contain the barrier, a throng of people broke the barrier and filed in behind the charter buses. She described the scene then as being very chaotic, children crying, some people trampled, but said soon afterwards order was restored.  She said they are being told that the breach will add three hours to the time they go through the checkpoint.  She said they eventually made it through and was able to witness this moment in history.

Coverage of Inauguration Day continues on ktre.com and KTRE throughout the day.  We'll also have a phone interview with Christel tonight on the East Texas News.

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