Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomenewsFreeze keeps local rescuers busy

Freeze keeps local rescuers busy

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The steep drop in temperatures significantly raised emergency calls for area first responders.

Corpus Christi Fire Department Chief Brandon Wade said the last 48 hours have been nothing short of busy, responding to all kinds of weather-related emergencies.

It started to pick up Monday morning with multiple car crashes.

Then, there were the fires.

“The past 48 hours we’ve had 435 incidents, roughly 100 more than what we would usually see,” he said.

Wade said, among those calls, were six major fires, including one along Sycamore Place — on the city’s West Side — where flames shot out of the window.

3NEWS went back Tuesday to see the extent of the damage during daylight hours.  The home was severely damaged.

There was also a fire Tuesday morning on Caribbean Drive, in Flour Bluff, that involved three vehicles and an RV.

“So we’ve been pretty busy in the fire department,” he said.

City firefighters are also going out to check on folks who suffered slips and falls, and those people who were stuck out in the dangerous cold. 

Monday night, CCFD paramedics escorted a man off the streets and took him to the city’s temporary cold-weather refuge located at the city gym on Cabaniss Parkway.

“If they don’t need true medical care, then we can keep them out of the hospital system, and truly get them what they need, which is a little bit of shelter, warmth, and a hot cup of coffee to get them on their feet,” he said.

Wade said it’s also important to him to make sure his firefighters are holding up well.

“The big piece we always ask is: ‘How is it at home?’ ” he said. “While we are away, they have to be concerned about the same thing at their home: Is the water line freezing? Is the heater working? we always check up on them, but our crews are doing great.”

Wade said one call they haven’t received much of is for flooding caused by busted water pipes.

All hands on deck

Among those who assisted with that overnight warming center at the city gym were volunteers with the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

“Red Cross volunteers are trained and ready to answer that call 24/7,” said Corpus Christi American Red Cross Executive Director Angie Garcia.

The Red Cross is always searching for volunteers to help.

Garcia said they partner with city staff when an emergency arises, in order to keep others safe.

“For the Red Cross, our mission is to prevent and alleviate suffering in the face of emergencies,” she said. “Last night was a testament to what Corpus Christi does well.”

Over Monday and Tuesday they, too, have seen a need for their services increase for the 19 counties they cover. 

“Answering calls,” she said. “Those home-fire calls increasing in the Coastal Bend and Corpus Christi area are also happening in the Wharton and Jackson county areas as well.”

With another chance of freezing conditions in the coming days, Garcia said it’s important to keep safety measures in mind when trying to stay warm.

“When you use a space heater, make sure you don’t have anything flammable,” she said.

In the meantime, Wade said a working smoke detector can help save lives, and that everyone also should know where their main water shut-off valve is located.

If you don’t know where it is and wind up facing a water emergency they will come out and help shut that line off to help protect your property.

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