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Durham Residents Clamor For Shelter As Temperatures Drop

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DURHAM, N.C. — Sue Powell of Durham and her daughter, Rochelle, have been without power in their home since Wednesday.

Friday, after a night of sticking it out in the cold, they decided enough was enough - and headed for a local shelter.

"The kerosene heater wasn't doing that much," Powell said. "So, to be on the safe side, I came here with the rest of my family."

More than 90,000 people in Durham still were without power Friday night. Some will stay powerless until Wednesday night. That's why hundreds of people joined Powell in flocking to area shelters.

Margaret Belyard, director of the shelter at the First Presbyterian Church, estimated that "we have 115 to 120 people here."

In a Friday news conference, representatives from Durham revealed their plan of action to get the Bull City up and running.

Duke Power will have more than 300 people working non-stop over the weekend. Additionally, in an effort to give people more time to get food, gas and other necessities, Mayor Bill Bell expanded the city's curfew - instead of 5 p.m. to 6 a.m., it's now 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

"Certainly, we're not going to stop everyone," Bell said. "If you're coming from a restaurant or from work, we're not really concerned about that."

But that didn't offer much help to Powell. Saturday is Rochelle's fourth birthday, and Powell had planned a party. Now, she'll have to celebrate her birthday in the shelter.

"Hopefully," Powell said, "we can bake a cake with the rest of the family."

Here's a quick rundown of the shelters available:

In Wake County, shelters are set up at Cary High, Garner High, Enloe High and East Wake High School, as well as the W.E. Community Center in Holly Springs.

In Durham, shelters are set up at Jordan High School, Easley Elementary School and the First Presbyterian Church.

Chatham County shelters are at Chatham Middle and Northwood High.

Also, Woollen Gym on UNC's campus is open for those searching out warmth.

In Harnett County, go to Harnett Central Middle School.

In Granville County, Creedmoor residents can go to City Hall.