By Anum Valliani
PECOS - This weather isn't messing around and neither is the city. That's why they set up an emergency shelter. We're told a dozen Red Cross workers from multiple cities have collaborated on this effort.
The Pecos High School gym is covered in cots. That's because the American Red Cross-Permian Basin has transformed it into an emergency shelter in place.
“There are voluntary and mandatory evacuations in the community. So we've been asked to be prepared,” Stephanie Murphree, Executive Director of the American Red Cross-Permian Basin Chapter, said.
Officials say it's more of a safety precaution than concern of residences being damaged by flood waters. The shelter opened Saturday afternoon and brought in just under ten people.
“We expect to see that number increase, trickling throughout the evening,” Murphree said.
Arsenio Pleasant is one of those who was forced to come in.
“We got lucky by moving out of there before last (Saturday) night, by them doing what they did yesterday. They turned off our power, it woke us up to see what was going on so we drove in town to find out there was going to be an evacuation. If we didn't wake up to do none of that, we could have been stuck like the people that were there today and they were coming through mud and stuff. We have four large trucks and a lot of equipment still so we had to get them out of there,” Oilfield Worker, Arsenio Pleasant, said.
Although he says the Red Cross has provided everything he needs at the moment, he's still feeling a little troubled.
“Just emotionally dealing with the stuff really. I mean I actually go to work tomorrow so it's like I have to go back to my work site then come back here instead of going from my work site and going home to relax, which they say there's going to be more people tonight, so that means that I have to come back and be around an environment full of people,” Pleasant said.
But officials say it's better to be safe than sorry.
“If you're questioning it or on the fence, then just come. According to the National Weather Service earlier, we are expecting potential rain and it could be rain not only over Pecos but also north of us which again is affecting the flood waters,” Murphree said.
“I hope this river does not completely break as they're saying where my premises is will be permanently flooded. That means there's a possibility of our trailers getting a mud slide miles down so that means I permanently have a problem with a place to stay,” Pleasant said.
Officials say the shelter will be open until Monday morning. We're also told school will be held as usual on Monday.