Pageant contestant from Fayetteville stranded in Texas hotel after severe weather hits

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A Fayetteville woman says she’s running low on food and water after being stranded at a Texas hotel all week.

Army wife and nurse Karla Gochenour says she traveled there last week to compete as Mrs. North Carolina in the United States of America pageant.

She says dozens of pageant contestants remain stranded at the Grand Hyatt hotel in San Antonio.

“We’ve got toilets overflowing, we are using buckets of ice and snow to fill the tanks,” Gochenour said. “Trash cans are overflowing, it’s all over the floor.”

Gochenour was supposed to fly home Monday, but has not been able to since the winter storm hit causing massive power outages and water shortages in Texas.

The hotel has power but no running water.

“The restaurants around here can’t serve people because there is no running water, there is no heat, there is no other option,” Gochenour said.

She says she’s being charged about $180 each night, including taxes and fees.

She thinks the hotel should offer a discount this week due to the conditions.

“People have it worse off than us for sure, but you would think the hotel would budge a little bit,” Gochenour said. “We are lucky we have a place to sleep and a warm room to be in, but we just want people to know honestly this hotel is not being accommodating.”

Gochenour is hoping to catch a flight back home Saturday.

Grand Hyatt San Antonio General Manager Philip Stamm sent this statement:

“The safety and security of our guests and colleagues are always a top priority at Grand Hyatt San Antonio, especially during times of need, like the unprecedented, extreme weather conditions we are currently experiencing in San Antonio.

Like many residents and other businesses and venues in San Antonio, our hotel is experiencing water pressure challenges at this time. We are in frequent contact with local utilities providers regarding restoring water pressure as quickly as possible and continue to provide frequent communications to all guests regarding the evolving situation. 

We continue to provide non-drinking water on all guestroom floors in an effort to ensure guests have water supply for guestroom toilet facilities. We are also working to ensure guests have access to discounted and complimentary food options, as well as complimentary hand sanitizer and drinking water, as needed.

We sincerely apologize for the inconveniences caused by this extreme weather situation, and we are grateful for the extraordinary efforts made by our colleagues this week to care for our guests and community, including working with the City of San Antonio to house essential workers and displaced members of our community. We remain committed to caring for our guests, colleagues and the San Antonio community during this difficult time.”

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