Thousands across Bell County still without power, turning to hotels for refuge

The Hampton Inn in Temple has been fully booked out the last couple of days, according to a front desk employee
Published: Feb. 4, 2023 at 12:37 PM CST
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - Things may be warming up but thousands are still in the dark in Central Texas.

With many still without power Saturday in Bell County after this week’s ice storms, some are turning to hotels like the Hampton Inn in Temple for electricity.

“We have been completely booked out for the past couple of days,” Ashley Veliz, an employee at the Hampton Inn in Temple, told KWTX. “We’ve had people even come all the way from the Austin area to try and even find a hotel here. It’s been desperate.”

One of the guests currently residing there is Temple resident Cathy Scribner.

She, her wheelchair-bound husband, and their dogs lost power Thursday when a tree limb fell on power lines in their backyard.

“We didn’t want to stay in our house because it was so cold,” Scribner said. “And my husband is ill, and he is in a wheelchair and only has one leg. So it’s been difficult for him to move. It’s just hard right now, it’s been very overwhelming and very tiresome.”

Not only has it been hard physically for Scribner to move her family to the hotel, but financially, too. She says her homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover the cost of accommodation.

“The limbs didn’t actually hit the house, and therefore our homeowner’s insurance didn’t cover any of our hotel stays,” Scribner said. “So that’s all out-of-pocket for us. And that’s difficult when you’re on a fixed income.”

Luckily, the Hampton Inn has allowed her pups to stay. But she, like most others sleeping at the hotel again tonight, still hasn’t heard from Oncor Electric when her power is expected to be restored.

“We’re hoping soon,” Andy Morgan, a spokesperson for Oncor, told KWTX Friday afternoon. “It’s just because we’re still dealing with some rough conditions. Obviously the roads have gotten better but that did kind of hamper us for the last couple of days.”