Shelters Are Open And Hotels Still Full

Friday, December 14th 2007, 9:23 pm
By: News On 6

With more people getting power back, area shelters are starting to thin out. But, the American Red Cross says it's not closing any shelters and is prepared for another round. The News On 6’s Dan Bewley reports the Red Cross reported a 16% drop from lunch on Thursday to lunch on Friday at shelters across northeast Oklahoma. However, it is a different story at hotels. Most are still full. The Red Cross shelters, though, are ready for the next winter blast.

Cots placed here and there, feet poking from under a warm blanket. A Red Cross shelter at the First Baptist Church downtown is still up and running. Shelley Draper and family have called it home ever since their house went dark on Sunday night.

“Frustrated, tired, ready to go home,” said Shelley Draper about how she’s feeling.

She's been told her power could be on by Saturday night. If so, she'll join the hundreds of others who left Red Cross shelters. This shelter alone has seen a 36% drop since Wednesday.

“But that's good news. With the snow storm and colder weather expected this weekend then that means all three of the Tulsa shelters will be able to accept more people,” said Nellie Kelly with the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross will be ready, Kelly says, when the snow begins to fall.

The brain of the operation, so to speak, is the Red Cross' Emergency Operation Center. Each shelter is represented along a wall. There are people talking to the shelters throughout the day, finding out what they need.

Volunteers spent Friday prepping for Saturday. With snow in the forecast, they were staging food and water at various places across northeast Oklahoma.

The Drapers hope they won't have to use it. Shelley just wants go home.

“As long as I can get inside. Have my own shower, my own bed. I'm ready to go,” said Shelley Draper.

If you do plan on coming to a shelter, the Red Cross asks you to bring a pillow, blanket, and medication to last at least two days.

Watch the video: Shelters Ready For Next Wave Of Winter