As Power Outages Persist, Residents Turn to Home Alternatives
By Ethan Calloway
As thousands recover from Tuesday's storm, one of the primary concerns is still power outages. With so many Tulsans still without power tonight, many are seeking out alternatives.For one great grandmother and her two great grandchildren, the Red Cross cooling station set up at Crosstown Church of Christ on East Admiral Place, is a refuge. Without power since the storm, Bea took the kids for a drive Thursday to cool off in the air conditioning. That's when they saw the red cross set up at the church."They said 'GeeBee, GeeBee, Red Cross helps you,' so we pulled in here and they've been real, real good to us," said the great grandmother of two.The storm left Bea and her family like so many others -- with a dark house, getting hotter with every hour that passes.But, the Red Cross is not the only group reaching out to those in need after the storm. Aloft Hotels are offering discounted "displacement rates" at both of their Tulsa locations."We're very sensitive and cognizant of the fact that there's a lot going on in [storm victims'] personal lives and if we can make their stay a little bit easier and a little bit more fun, then that might be something that's going to be a good fit for them," said Kara DeNardo, general manager of the south Tulsa location.She says the hotel saw around 75 rooms booked by displaced guests yesterday, alone."To have that many walk-ins was a challenge for us, to make sure that we could take care of them and have the right staffing levels and right service levels for our guests," DeNardo said.For residents like Bea, counting every minute until power is restored, the helping hand does not go unappreciated. "If it wasn't for them, we probably would be at my house right now, in the heat."Aloft Hotels say they will continue to offer those discounted rates for around two or three weeks, or as long as the need is present.The Red Cross cooling stations are open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. They say those will remain in place as long as the need is present.
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