Power in Henderson first went out Tuesday morning and was not restored for two hours, then came back around 7 p.m., only to go out again around midnight and not be restored since, he said.
But the biggest concern for the San Antonio, Texas, resident right now is his wife’s health – she suffered a stroke last year, the second in three years, and she’s still recovering.
Apparently she has terrible breathing problems, he says.
On Wednesday, millions of people in Texas were still without electricity, struggling to stay dry and warm when their homes flooded from burst pipes, and in some cases struggling to survive because the medical equipment they depend on stopped working.
According to Henderson, San Antonio firefighters have been to her home twice to fill tanks. His wife has one large tank that lasts 24 hours and two smaller ones. If it wasn’t for the firefighters, Henderson says, they would have driven to an ambulance even on bad roads, lucky for us we don’t live far from them.
Two days ago, San Antonio firefighters began filling residents’ oxygen tanks because they called 911 after their oxygen ran out and they couldn’t get refills from their suppliers, SAFD spokesman Joseph Arrington told CNN in a news release.
We currently have four SAFD machines operating throughout the city to provide this service to as many people as possible while we have supplies, Arrington said. By Wednesday morning, we had already provided this service at least 130 times, with many more lined up.
Henderson said the family currently has no hot meal, or means to cook.
Eating sandwiches when the power is off and cooking when the power is on. We have things for tuna salad and hot dogs that don’t need to be cooked. I hope it gets light soon so we can have breakfast.
Henderson said his asthmatic son and his mother also live with them in the house.
He told us to come, stay inside and wait for the current. Yet we consider ourselves blessed. There are a lot of people worse off than us.
The family does its best to keep the cold air out by putting blankets at the windows.
He said the apartment was not built before then.
Henderson’s power is restored at 10:15. He hopes the scan won’t be interrupted, but if it isn’t, he’s willing to make another trip to the grocery store.
I’m going to get some bread and something we don’t have to cook, he said. You can get charcoal and lighter fluid and use one of the barbecues in our apartment to cook. In fact, we can do nothing but wait. We’re survivors. Worst case scenario: We’ll have to go to a hotel. I can’t afford that in the long run.
Heating up in the car while there is gasoline.
Jordan Orta, without electricity at his home in San Antonio, Texas, was forced to sleep in his car with his two-year-old son Tuesday night because it was so cold.
A lot of people in my neighborhood are losing water, and they were told that they were going to shut off the water for the whole city and they didn’t know when it was going to come back, so we were filling jugs and tubs, she told CNN. I was in H-E-B yesterday and ran out of water. So if we lose water, that’s all we have until who knows when.
Orta was able to restore power for a brief period Wednesday morning and was able to warm up, but was cut off again around 8:45 a.m. CT.
We were without power from Monday morning until 9am. Tuesday. Then lost again at one o’clock. She picked him up Tuesday around 8 p.m. and then lost him again during the night until 5 a.m., she said.
We have a gas stove, so we could heat up leftovers and cook what we had, Orta said. They ate a lot of sandwiches, she says.
Your son doesn’t know anything is wrong, bless him. He just knows that sometimes the lights don’t work and we have to use a flashlight to go potty. It’s both amazing and sad.
He’s not really cold, because he’s busy and well dressed. He still wants to go outside and play in what’s left of the snow.
The H-E-B shelves were bare, as if it were the beginning of Covid again, she says. No more meat, almost no more non-perishable goods. There were queues in the aisles and around some shops.
Kimberly Hampton and her family of five thought they could escape from their home in Irving, Texas, on Monday, but the Hamptons said no blanket could keep them warm. The family lost power at 3:30 in the morning. On Monday, the thermostat in the house quickly dropped to 36 degrees.
Yesterday, Hampton was able to get wood from The Home Depot to build a fire and melt frozen breast milk in hot water for his seven-month-old baby and three-year-old twins.
When asked on Tuesday about the events of that night, Mr. Hampton replied that the situation had become worse and colder.
We’re out of firewood and there’s no place nearby, she said. My husband will have to buy formula because all my frozen milk has spoiled. My other kids are unhappy and don’t understand why it’s cold or why they can’t watch TV or get hot food.
Hampton said that according to Oncor’s online outage map, power would have been restored by 1:30 p.m. yesterday. Now, nearly 24 hours later, they are still in the dark. At one point, Hampton said, the power was out for an hour, but eventually went back on.
She said we were making a fire in our fireplace. At The Home Depot, we could get 2x4s that …. At $3 each for a product that runs out so quickly. We covered our rooms and put towels in the spaces between the doors and used blankets to cover all the windows as best we could.
We have a generator, but we ran out of gas quickly, so there are gas stations nearby. All children have three layers of clothes, coats and shoes. And we were practically all lying on top of each other, sharing our body heat.
Without electricity, entire neighborhoods in darkness
Barbara Martinez has been without power since 3:00 a.m. Sunday at home in Jersey Village, a suburb about 15 minutes from downtown Houston.
Martinez, his two elderly parents and their two dogs huddled in a room to keep warm.
We have several layers of clothes on, and it’s COLD, Martinez said. We use our cars to charge our phones and/or the signal is almost impossible to use here. So, as soon as I get a good signal, we’ll get our news.
Martinez says they’re not alone – their entire neighborhood is dark at night. She shares the following photo of her elderly father trying to warm up in a few layers in front of the fireplace.
We hope the power comes back soon, because we’re almost out of wood, she said. My goal today is to find more firewood.
Mr. Martinez said they initially experienced power outages of 30 minutes to an hour, but were never able to restore power to maximum, rather than shutting it off completely.
We have no idea when he’ll be back, she said. I was listening to the news (on the radio) and . On Twitter. Luckily we cooked on the stove, because it works on gas. But at night we just sleep with lots of clothes on and hope that everything will be okay. But honestly, I didn’t sleep much.
We had electricity for four hours, then it dropped out again and lasted a couple of hours, then it came back on for about two hours, and then it came back on, she says. Now it’s over.
It’s terrible, but much better than Monday night and most of Tuesday. My neighborhood is very strange. Half have electricity and the other half never lost to begin with. Today is going much better than yesterday, I have more energy for two hours than not.
Burst pipes, flooded houses
Jesus Cortez and three of his roommates had to leave their college apartment Tuesday when a sprinkler in one of the rooms failed, flooding the apartment in San Marcos, Texas.
He stated that due to the current weather, these courses have been cancelled and students are taking online and face-to-face courses.
We were walking around in a puddle of water and trying to get out as much as possible to figure out what was going on, Cortez wrote on Twitter.
Unfortunately, one of the roommates had to stay in the cold apartment because our apartment complex said they would come by yesterday to clean, but no one showed up, he told CNN on Wednesday. One went to her friend, two went to a friend and one stayed.
Now we are all waiting for the steamers to dry the carpet, he said. My roommate’s room is probably frozen and we hope to have food soon. We don’t know if we can return to our apartment because the roads are slippery at the moment.
The house where Sandra Erickson and her husband rent an apartment in Friendswood, Texas, got so cold that pipes burst and the ceiling collapsed in three different rooms, she says.
It looks like a catastrophic hurricane, she told CNN.
The electricity, she says, has just gone out, but they’ve been without it since Monday, and it’s unlikely to stay that way.
She said we were in the house and had a fireplace to keep us warm. There’s nowhere to go.
Angelina Villarreal tells CNN she was in her living room with her sister trying to stay warm when the temperature reached 50 degrees in her home in Houston, Texas. His room was flooded with water from a burst pipe and everything destroyed.
Villarreal’s father has his own business and works in sewage, water, etc.
It’s a recycling service, and he had to stay those two days because the water company he owns also has burst pipes, she says. He said the gas stations are not open because he needs gas and there is no electricity at his headquarters. We think he’ll be back today, but I don’t know how long the interruption will last.
Degradation of drinking water supply
Susie Kelly and her husband, Douglas, Texas, have been without electricity since Sunday and without water since Monday, she said.
Douglas is a rural community almost three hours southeast of Dallas.
We only used the generator sparingly because we ran out of fuel, she says. We have enough fuel for another day. Here’s how.
When asked what happens next, Kelly told CNN: Well, uh… we got a bottle of tequila and some prayer candles.
Without water, they used bottled water to brush their teeth and cook on the stove. I made a big stew yesterday and washed the peeled potatoes with bottled water.
We have 24 bottles of water left, she says. When she’s gone, I’m out of ideas.
Even though they have four-wheel drive on the car, Kelly says they’re stuck. The roads that traverse the hilly terrain are covered with a mixture of ice and snow, she says.
She said we’d never manage to find some hills. It’s a disaster.
Although Barbara Thomas is fortunate to have electricity for heating, her home in Shreveport, Louisiana, has no water.
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins confirmed Thursday on Facebook that the city continues to have major water problems.
Water pressure is extremely low in many parts of the city due to an unprecedented winter storm and resulting breaks in water pipes, he writes.
I just hope my family and I don’t run away before the storm passes, Thomas told CNN.
There’s not much you need in outdoor stores. She has a few bottles of water in the garage, but to run the toilet, it started snowing.
This morning I filled two buckets of mop with snow for the toilet. I’m gonna do this all day.