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Central Texas hotels, booked full, lose power

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 2:57 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - More than 90,000 Central Texans were without power Tuesday afternoon, many for more than 24 hours in sub-freezing temperatures.

That has led many to seek shelter in area hotels, which are booked full and losing power themselves.

KWTX reached out to dozens of hotels across the region but could not find an available bed.

Many say they are booked through the weekend as people wait to hear when power may be restored to their homes.

Several of the hotels full of residents however, have lost power at the hotel as well.

The Hampton Inn in Temple says its power went out Monday morning with all 83 rooms full which each have two to four people inside.

“Very scary, its a nightmare. I’ve never had to be responsible for 130 to 150 people,” General manager Dorene Burlew said.

HEB had purchased a block of rooms for workers at its Temple distribution center.

Burlew says they also have many elderly residents and families with small infants inside. The hotel had been sold out since Saturday.

With the power out, Burlew says they have no hot water, and no way to make calls to the rooms, so she is knocking on doors to make sure customers are getting by okay.

Many of the elderly are staying on the upper floors and cannot get down the stairs.

She says they are distributing blankets and flashlights, hoping to have enough batteries to go around, but says its not enough.

Those stuck at the hotel are unable to call for food deliveries, and hotel refrigerators and microwaves are not an option, so storing food to eat later has also been difficult.

She says HEB dropped off food for their employees staying there as well as hotel staff and other guests.

Burlew is asking for help from the community if anyone else is able to provide food the customers can eat.

She’s also hoping someone who was previously using a generator but maybe had power restored could lend it to the hotel to get heat going for the rooms with the elderly and young children.

Many other hotels across the region are reporting power outages as well.

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