MITCHELL COUNTY, TX ---- Colorado City in nearby Mitchell County has seen a lot of attention lately thanks to the viral Facebook post from their former Mayor which stated that “Only the strong will survive and the weak will parish.” [sic] in reference to the recent winter storm. The story was covered by many media outlets, but what hasn’t been told is that the residents and other local officials in Mitchell County don’t share the same sentiments.
Mitchell County Judge Mark Merrell told KBest News that the community has come together during this trying time to help their neighbors. This includes not only local officials and city and county employees, but also businesses and residents.
Some residents have even opened their homes to others in need; businesses have donated drinking water for residents, and local law enforcement has been very proactive in helping the community find the resources they need to get through the power outages and lack of water.
County Sheriff Patrick Toombs has coordinated activities to help the community such as having deputies take water to individual homes. In addition to that, law enforcement has been working to ensure that there’s no one in a home without electricity and if there is, getting them to a warming center. A distribution center was even set up at the local law enforcement center after businesses donated drinking water.
Shelter has been provided for a number of residents in Mitchell County - which includes the communities of Westbrook and Lorraine - through the Samaritan House in Colorado City. Although there is no water in the facility at this time, they can still provide a warm shelter with over 100 beds.
“Some of the senior citizens that were without water and electricity for a number of days were eventually brought there and were allowed to stay. We still have people there today. We’re keeping that open and available for those people in need," said Judge Merrell. "We don’t have any water out there, but the whole community has rallied to help out.”
Judge Merrell said that individuals and businesses have provided meals and snacks for the people staying out there. Plus, stores and restaurants have also helped to provide cooked meals and water throughout the county.
Sheriff Toombs told KBest News that the charitable branch of the Delek Refinery in Big Spring gave them six pallets of water, making them one of their biggest suppliers of water.
“We’ve got a couple of individuals that work at the refinery that live over here that reached out to them and made that possible,” said Toombs.
County Commissioners are providing non-drinkable water pumped out of a well in Precinct 1 of Mitchell County. Residents can fill up their containers with water to flush their toilet or to provide drinking water for their livestock.
Mitchell County has been working with state representatives and senators to try to help their residents, and have even had strangers from out of state offer monetary assistance. Merrell told KBest News that even though electricity has begun to return to the community, water is his large concern.
“We’re still in need of water and drinking water. I’ve got a real concern for that. We thought we were gonna have the water up and running, hopefully, today, but that did not occur. So, I’m anticipating, probably, sometime next week, hopefully. We got a lot of senior citizens out there by themselves [and families with kids]. We just need to make sure they’re taken care of.”
With no water coming in due to the power outages and water freezing inside of the water tanks and wells, Judge Merrell told KBest News that he’s concerned that there will be people throughout the city and county who will be without water until next week.
Anyone wanting to assist those in Mitchell County are encouraged to contact Sheriff Patrick Toombs at the Mitchell County Sheriff's Office at 325-728-5261. They can also contact Judge Mark Merrell's office at 325-242-0643.