RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. -

We're told many Southwest Virginia residents are without heat in the frigid weather.

Jess Powers, coordinator for Russell County Emergency and Hazardous Materials, told us he signed three checks for the Salvation Army on Wednesday to help residents whose heat had been turned off.

"We usually get three or four calls a year but this year we've gotten many phone calls," said Powers.

He told us some parts of Russell County have seen temperatures as low as six degrees below zero, causing large heating bills.

Powers said this makes it especially hard for the elderly and for those people on a fixed income.

"When they're working with the Social Security checks or maybe a small retirement check," said Powers. "That money doesn't go far and you're looking at six times your normal power bill."

Powers told us they're seeing more people relying on Social Security benefits because of layoffs within the coal companies.