Killeen winter

Killeen houses and vehicles in the Bunny Trail-Goodnight Ranch area rest under a blanket of snow Monday morning following a winter storm in the area. Killeen resident Justin Cox captured this photo with his drone. “The wind got worse and the chill started depleting the battery faster than normal (expected).  After about 10 minutes in the air I started losing feeling in my hands (can’t wear gloves on the sticks), so I landed as quickly as possible,” Cox said on his Facebook page. To see more of Cox’s aerial photos, go to his Facebook page at JC Drone Ops and Media.

In the midst of the coldest weather Texas has seen in recent years, Central Texans warmed the hearts of others by offering warm food, shelter from the storm, and countless good deeds.

Janelled Casson, of Killeen, said retired veteran Romeo Woodson helped an elderly neighbor who’d fallen during the storm. “He probably saved her life,” Casson said.

Woodson, 40, said he was worried Monday when he hadn’t seen or heard from his 63-year-old neighbor, Beverly Gross, during the worst of the winter storm.

After several attempts to make contact with his neighbor, he said he reached out to Gross’ daughter.

“When her daughter arrived, she opened the door, and Ms. Beverly was laying in the hallway,” Woodson said. “I picked her up, grabbed a coat and a blanket, and brought her back to my house to warm her up and make sure she was OK. Upon arrival at my house, she was cold and seemed a little unconscious and her fingers looked pail.” Woodson said he called emergency medical services who responded to the house and, after finding her blood pressure was too low, took her to the hospital. Gross is back at home regaining her strength after the winter storm, he said.

“I’m just happy I could help,” he said.

Luvina Norwood-Sabree, of Killeen, said one local man personally helped her family during the storm, as well as dozens of other people.

“Daivone Durr is a Central Texas hero through this winter storm,” Norwood-Sabree wrote on Facebook.

In an interview Saturday, Durr, 29, of Killeen, said his daughter’s encouragement is what kept him going during the storm.

“I don’t do this for high fives or hand claps,” he said. “I’m doing this for my daughter, Kaidence, because she said she’s proud of me and that’s what matters to me the most.”

From Sunday to Saturday, Durr said he worked around the clock transporting dozens of homeless people to warming shelters, responding to welfare calls from concerned family members, and handing out bottled water to the growing number of people without potable drinking water.

“This taught me to not take things for granted,” he said. “We live in America where water should be plentiful. Yesterday a mom was looking for water to make a bottle for her child, and she started crying, and it just hit me hard. Some of these people, you’d think I was bringing $1 million to their door, but it’s just water. It touched me. This is America. This isn’t Flint, Michigan.”

Shelby Avants, 29, of Killeen, said a friend of her grandfather’s came to the rescue, making a trek from Nolanville to Killeen, during the coldest hours of the winter storm.

“My grandpa’s great friend and work buddy, Walter Castro, helped my grandpa and our family by bringing gas for our generator,” Avants said. “He also brought my grandpa a hot cup of coffee and continually checked in on us. He casually mentioned that he was helping all of his tenants in need, specifically a family with several children. He told us they didn’t have any food so he was going to find bread, milk, and some essentials for them. He is a gem of a person, and he really helped us when we were struggling. I can’t imagine the experience without his assistance.”

254-501-7567 | ldodd@gmail.com

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