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Oklahoma's shelters remain full amid outages

BY VALLERY BROWN Modified: February 3, 2010 at 4:20 am •  Published: February 3, 2010
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Thousands of Oklahomans continue to use shelters and feeding centers days after a winter storm knocked out power and utilities to many communities across the state.

Kyla Campbell, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross, said Red Cross and Salvation Army officials split up feeding routes Tuesday to make operations more efficient.

The Red Cross will be running food routes from areas in and around Altus, Carnegie, Lawton and Duncan. The Salvation Army is running food routes at Chickasha, Lindsay, Pauls Valley, Elmore City, Cyril, Cement and Cache.

"We’re working side by side in all of this,” Campbell said. "It’s a beautiful partnership.”

She said residents surrounding these areas will not have to drive more than about 10 miles to receive food.

John Valenzuela, disaster services director for the Southwest Oklahoma Chapter of the Red Cross, opened a shelter at the Altus Community Center Thursday evening.

Since then, other shelters and feeding centers have opened, he said.

Valenzuela said the Altus shelter is sleeping about 130 people each night. He estimated as many as 400 people are coming to the shelter for each meal.

The shelter continues to run on generator power.

"This is the first time I’ve done anything like this in southwest Oklahoma,” he said.


AT A GLANCE
2,500 turn to shelters

Officials said the 37 open shelters housed about 2,500 people.


• To find a list of shelters, go to NewsOK.com.

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