Van Horn braces for continued winter weather, potential natural gas outages

Texas

VAN HORN, Texas (KTSM) — Van Horn is feeling the heat (or lack thereof) from the Texas winter storms as temperatures drop, people panic and goods become scarce. 

KTSM 9 News sent a crew to examine the situation as motorists top off their gas tanks in Van Horn, minding warnings that gasoline could be scarce as travelers head east. 

Tammi Myers from Sacramento, Calif., told KTSM that her trip across Texas is taking some unexpected detours, much to the chagrin of her short-haired companions. 

“I have a friend and six dogs in the car, and we’re going to a dog show in Midland. It was supposed to start today but because of the ‘ruff’ weather they cancelled and it’s starting tomorrow,” she said. 

Myers is traveling with six miniature pinschers, a short-haired breed definitely not accustomed to sub-freezing temperatures. 

Myers is prepared with puppy PJs, jackets and is only staying in places that will allow the six good girls and boys to stay inside with her. 

Residents of Van Horn are stocking up on non-perishable food items and bottled water at the local grocery store before hunkering down in their homes.

Kerry Quite, assistant manager at Porter’s, a local grocery store, said that work has been “psychotic” as people panic buy in a frenzy similar to what most of the country saw almost a year ago at the beginning of the pandemic.

Many of the shelves at Porter’s were bare on Thursday as customers — old, young and in between — arrived around noon to check if truck shipments had arrived (they had not).

“Our truck was supposed to get here at 4 a.m. yesterday, but didn’t get here till noon,” says Quite, exhausted from the strain of the past week. “We were supposed to get another shipment today but that didn’t come. It might get here tomorrow.”

Shoppers perused the ransacked shelves for cans of soup, as many cases of water as they could carry, and a few bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

One boy, about 10 years old, did the shopping by himself as his mom waited in the car. In his cart were canned soup, mango nectar and a block of cheese. He returned for a bag of potato chips a few minutes after his initial purchase, just in case he and his family don’t make it back to the store for a while.

Van Horn Mayor Becky Brewster

Van Horn Mayor Becky Brewster is working with the state to conserve natural gas and avoid her town facing the devastation that many to the east continue to endure.

On Wednesday, a notice was issued to advise Van Hornians to conserve natural gas by keeping their temperatures at 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Please conserve energy so that our supplies can last throughout this inclement weather,” reads the notice. 

“There’s not really a way to hoard natural gas, so that’s not an issue there,” Brewster said. “Just keep your house a bit chillier than usual and we might be able to get to warmer days without running out.” 

Brewster said gas stations and truck stops were very crowded on Thursday morning with truckers and travelers fueling up for what lay ahead, but by noon, the town had calmed down. 

“We’re really very lucky compared to anywhere pretty much east of us where they’ve got electric outages and all that,” said Brewster. “We’ve just got a little bit of cold.”

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