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Bad Weather Means Brisk Business for Texas MotelAired December 28, 2000 - 2:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: In northeast Texas, they're calling out the National Guard in Humvees, trying to rescue hundreds of folks stranded by an ice and snow storm. Along the highway between Fort Worth and Abilene, motorists can't get their cars or their big rigs moving again. Some folks have abandoned their vehicles and headed for shelter at nearby college dorms and jail houses. A few are lucky enough to find a room.
And Marty Heard is the manager of a Best Western motel long the way. We have Marty on the line.
You've got a full house, I expect.
MARTY HEARD, MOTEL MANAGER: Yes, I'm here.
WATERS: You have a full house, I expect.
HEARD: Yes, sir, more than just a full house. We have had people even sleeping in the office to accommodate.
WATERS: This began happening about 6:00 last night. I don't know where you're located, exactly, Mount Pleasant. Where is that in relation to the traffic jam that we're seeing pictures of here?
HEARD: We're two hours from Dallas, and we're an hour there Texarkana, an hour from Longview and an hour from Paris.
WATERS: So you began filling up yesterday evening?
HEARD: We've been full for the last three days.
WATERS: Oh, really. Any complainers in the bunch?
HEARD: No, people are jut thankful to have a room with electricity, water and a place warm to stay.
WATERS: You going to have enough food for everyone?
HEARD: Oh, yes. So far, we've been lucky. We've had plenty of food and blankets and everything for everybody.
WATERS: Are these locals, folks just passing through? Who are the people who are checking in?
HEARD: These are people out of Texarkana, Paris, Dekalb, New Boston (ph). They have no electricity or anywhere to go.
WATERS: Have you had to turn anyway away from the inn?
HEARD: We've had a waiting list. We still have a waiting list of people that are waiting to find out if we have any rooms available.
WATERS: Well you say you have had some people in your office. Are they around the lobbies, all over the place?
HEARD: Oh, yes, we had electrocutions that slept on the couch last night. We loaned them the couch.
WATERS: So you don't necessarily have to have a room in order to have people come inside and keep warm?
HEARD: This is right.
WATERS: OK, Marty Heard is the manager of a Best Western motel along this icy mess you see. And that's along I-20, Interstate 20, between Fort Worth and Abilene.
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