North Texans hunker down as arctic weather chills region

Freezing temperatures across North Texas are causing some adjustments as people try to stay warm.

Several outdoor COVID-19 testing sites closed early Thursday and some school districts opened doors well before the start of the day so students didn't wait outside.

Students at Harlean Beal Elementary in Fort Worth bundled up and quickly went into school to escape the frigid temperatures early in the day. 

"Oh man, wrapped the babies up, started the car early, gotta get it moving to get ready to get up out of here," said Roy Martin, parent.

RELATED: Drivers warm up buses, some schools open early due to arctic blast

At Elliott’s Hardware in Dallas, employees worked to keep the shelves stocked with winter items to protect from cold temperatures.

"They were completely full with those heaters. I had one guy that just came in 15 minutes ago, bought the last three of one of the heaters," said Welmon Mays, manager.

He said people have been coming in all week, trying to make sure they’re prepared ahead of time. 

"Heaters, space heaters, kerosene heaters, generators, a bunch of stuff to protect their plants and homes, foundation vent covers is one of the hot sellers here," Mays said.

Shelters across the city of Dallas have 1,500 beds available to take people in from the cold. Our Calling sheltered about 220 people Wednesday night and the city is working to get other overflow locations ready for several days of freezing weather. 

 "As we can conditionally go through these consecutive days, it just brings more and more and more people to that point to say, I'm sick of this, I'm going in somewhere. So we're continuing to hit our capacity numbers and are going to continue to see those grow," said Wayne Walker, CEO & Pastor, Our Calling.

The city says COVID-19 rapid testing is available and those who test positive will be moved to a separate location. 

RELATED: Brrr! Arctic cold front with wind chills in teens hits Dallas area

On the state level, the Texas Division of Emergency Management is readying the state operations center to go 24 hours a day and monitoring wintery weather in several areas. 

Gov. Abbott’s office says light snow is expected in the panhandle. Parts of Central and South Texas could see a wintry mix affecting travel through Friday. 

"There are areas where they need extra treatment of roadways because of precipitation, because of the cold weather. There will be other challenges in some different areas so whatever may be occurring in any particular region, that particular state agency is working to make sure those challenges will be addressed," Abbott said.

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