This story was updated Feb. 18 at 5 p.m.:
San Antonio will continue to maintain a warming center in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center with a goal of accommodating 500 people. Those who need transportation can call 311 to schedule a pickup on VIA Metropolitan Transit. Hemisfair Park Garage will also provide free parking for those who drive to the convention center. The city provided several hundred cots and the San Antonio Food Bank will be preparing meals. People seeking shelter there should bring their own clothing and medicine.
Here is a map of San Antonio area Warming Centers: (Click here to make the map full screen)
The Bexar County Office of Emergency Management was able to secure emergency shelter hotel room capacity for individuals who have electric medical equipment that needs a power supply. 88 people were placed using this option. If you need this special type of assistance, please call 3-1-1.
Here is a list of the warming stations (are we missing one? email firstname.lastname@example.org subj line ADD THIS):
- The City of San Antonio set up warming centers for residents of the San Antonio Housing Authority and others who need a place to stay. Call 311 for more information.
- Bexar County Fire Marshal’s Office has made available an emergency shelter option at their office. There is capacity for 20 people to stay overnight if needed and for an additional 20 people to warm up and charge their phones. COVID-19 safety protocols are in effect and those wanting to use the shelter are asked to call the Fire Marshal’s Office at (210) 335-0335 prior to coming out.
- Crosspoint Church in Schertz.
- Embassy Suites by Hilton at Brooks is offering free warming and charging stations until the end of the day on Friday, February 19th.
- First United Methodist Church in Kerrville.
- Judson High School Gymnasium, 9142 FM 78, Converse, TX 78109. The City of Converse partnered with Judson ISD and is operating an Emergency shelter for the Converse/Judson communities. Anyone needing shelter please stop by to get warm.
- Losoya Middle School 1610 Martinez Losoya Road. Southside ISD opened a warming center beginning Wednesday, Feb. 17, openThursday, Feb. 18 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- McAuliffe Middle School will be a warming center hosted by Southwest ISD
- Mission Del Lago Golf Course Building. Prioritizing seniors 65+ years, families with small children and families with medical equipment – on 4 hour rotations. Thank you to residents & partners like HJD Capital & Alamo City Golf for providing the space & power to make this possible. Open Now.
- Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church (experiencing water problems, no bathroom access) 1214 Stonewall St, San Antonio, TX, 78211 (210) 924-6591
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Helotes opened its parish hall to those needing to escape the cold temperatures. The Church is located at 13715 Riggs Road. Go to this link on the church's Facebook page for details.
- Sacred Heart Catholic Church will be open overnight if needed, 2114 W Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78207 (210) 227-5059
- Salvation Army in Kerrville.
- Southside Community Center in San Marcos.
- St. James Catholic Church in Seguin.
- St. Patrick Church on the East Side, 1114 Willow St, San Antonio, TX,78208. For more: (210) 226-5223
- Westover Hills Church, 9340 Westover Hills Blvd. has a warming center and charging station open all night Wednesday Feb. 17 and through 6 p.m. Feb. 18. They will provide snacks, water, and place to charge devices. There will be symptom screening, mask requirements, and practice of social distancing. For more information call Eric Hilliard 210-723-0670.
Texas Division of Emergency Management published this Map of Warming Centers Across the state https://tdem.texas.gov/warm/. Call 211 for more information.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg is one of more than 260,000 Bexar County residents whose power was cut off by CPS Energy after the Texas energy grid collapsed under an unrelenting freeze and storm that arrived with a vengeance on Valentine’s Day.
“We must be prepared to deal with power outages for at least another day,” he said during a special meeting on Tuesday. The warming center will prioritize the elderly and children who have been without power over the past two days Nirenberg said.
Among the challenges in getting the warming station set up was the convention center’s own lack of water earlier today until it was remedied by SAWS.
“SAWS is not going to shut off water to the city,” Niremberg said, debunking a rumor that has made the rounds on social media.
He said roughly 20% of SAWS customers are having problems with their water supply, but crews are trying to fix the problems. The utility reported at least one water main break and has said power outages to pumping stations have caused issues in the system on top of frozen pipes at many homes and businesses from the sub-freezing temperatures.
Although other Texas cities opened warming centers sooner, City Manager Erik Walsh said San Antonio’s usual locations - libraries and senior centers - did not have reliable access to power because CPS Energy is cutting power to customers across the area to reduce demand on the state energy grid, ERCOT. “All those facilities are subject to the same power outages as your homes are, and we did not want to create centers under those circumstances.”
San Antonio will dim the lights on city buildings, and has asked private companies to do the same after images of its well-lit night skyline Monday drew harsh criticism from residents who had been without power for hours.
“We don't need a sparkling skyline tonight while thousands are without power,” Nirenberg said.