01/18 UPDATE: Power has been restored to the town of Ashville, according to Alabama Power.
In frigid temperatures, around 900 neighbors are still without power in Ashville as Alabama Power crews continue to work on the outage.
Early Wednesday, as many as 1,700 people in Ashville were impacted. As of late Wednesday evening, workers had restored power to nearly half of the customers who were without power.
Ashville’s First Baptist Church is open as a warming station for those in need of a place to go.
Dozens of people along Pinedale Road told CBS 42 they have been without power since early Wednesday morning.
“We’re all bundled up like Eskimos,” said Paula McLellan.
McLellan said they woke up to temperatures in the teens and then the power went out.
“We’ve got friends that don’t have oxygen, we’ve got friends with infants and no heat. I’m a heart patient. This is not good for me,” said McLellan.
Alabama Power spokesperson Ike Pigott told CBS 42 the outage was due to an equipment problem that was not directly related to the weather.
“It’s an extremely inconvenient time to lose power and we certainly respect that and the issues that our customers are going through right now,” said Pigott.
Pigott said that Alabama Power would work with community leaders to support the warming shelter.
CBS 42 saw several individuals bringing water and food items Wednesday night. Ashville Police Chief Dennis Matthews picked up and dropped off one woman who needed a place to go.
Residents were encouraged to check on neighbors, particularly those who are ill, elderly, or live alone. Officials urge folks to bring pets inside or make sure they have ample shelter.
Alabama Power notified customers that they hoped to have all power restored by 7 a.m. Thursday.
Pigott explained the power could be restored sooner.
“Some customers are getting notifications that say it might be 7 o clock in the morning before they get power back, but that’s not necessarily the case, that’s going to be the last customer that gets online. As we’re able to safely restore power to other customers, we’re going to do so,” said Pigott.
Paula McLellan and her family planned to go to a hotel for the night, while others planned to rely on family members.
“My parents live in Ragland, so if all else fails we will go to Ragland and stay the night,” said Clay Watts, who also was without power along Pinedale Road.
Watts has been keeping his 4-year-old bundled up inside. He said he was leaving his truck on to charge his phone.
Emergency officials caution residents against using stoves to heat their home. Authorities also advise against using gas or propane heaters and generators inside.
For information on the St. Clair County warming stations, you can contact the St. Clair County EMA at (205) 473-4312 or (205)884-3333.