Community activist questions why Florence decided not to open warming centers

Florence community activist Pat Gibson Hye Moore says Florence City and County should have opened a warming center for the homeless and those without heat when temperatures dipped down into the teens this week.

"It should have been our obligation to make sure that people are warm and safe. On those two days, my heat went out and my lights went out. So, I was in the cold. So, I just felt a little of what some others felt that was outside," explained Moore.

She also blames herself as an elected school board member and says she should have done more to help those left out in the cold.

"I think we all took the easy way out. We had a place to stay and we didn't think about those that didn't," Moore said.

Nick Dargan and Ruth Ann Santos say they're homeless and had no where to go on the coldest nights of the winter season so far.

"I was staying at a friend's house on his porch which was very cold and I was freezing. I was shivering and I had like frost bite around my lips," said Santos.

"On those nights you know, unfortunately I'm sleeping on a porch.I just crawled up under my blankets, " said Dargan.

Dargan and Santos say they wished a warming center would have been opened.

Florence city officials say on those cold nights police patrolled areas where the homeless usually gather to direct them to a shelter.

Florence County Emergency Management Officials say they decided against opening a warming center because power outages weren't expected.