18:05 GMT26 February 2021
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    EL PASO  (Sputnik) - An unforgiving winter storm sweeping through Texas has left numerous residents stranded in their homes without enough food and firewood to stay warm, while others even sleep in tents inside their houses to better conserve heat.

    More than 4.1 million residents in Texas have no power as of Tuesday afternoon, according to poweroutage.us, which is a system tracking the power outages across the United States.

    Temperatures throughout Texas reached between zero to 32 degrees Fahrenheit overnight and remain below freezing temperatures through Tuesday afternoon.

    Alfonso Lara of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in north Texas told Sputnik he's been without power since midnight on Monday.

    Withstanding Snow 'Armageddon'
    © Sputnik
    Withstanding Snow 'Armageddon'

    "We're not really ready here in the DFW [Dallas-Fort Worth] area for this type of weather... it's like Armageddon because so many bad things are happening," Lara said from his apartment on Tuesday.

    Lara said he does have food and bottled water for the week, but water pipes are frozen.

     Texas snow
    © Sputnik
    Texas snow

    "So many people have been affected, so many of us are without power for more than a day. I think tonight might be the worst day out of all of these days. It's really scary to be at home checking the thermostat be dropping in temperature without being able to do anything," he said.

    Texas snow
    © Sputnik /
    Texas snow

    Lara said he's been eating sandwiches to survive and has been starting fires with wood to heat water.

    "I was able to boil water and also ate instant soup and a coffee but the wood won't last till the end of the week," Lara said.

    Meanwhile, nearby grocery stores are empty after residents went into a panic to get supplies, Lara said.

    "I guess a lot of people also did panic shopping and some of the grocery stores are like empty," Lara said. "It's also hard to find charcoal [to cook outside] and wood to start fires."

    Jennifer Fidler of Texas capital city Austin told Sputnik her apartment building has been without power since early Monday morning, adding that her neighbors have helped her get through the freezing temperatures a bit.

    People shop in Fiesta supermarket on February 16, 2021 in Houston, Texas
    © AFP 2021 / GO NAKAMURA
    People shop in Fiesta supermarket on February 16, 2021 in Houston, Texas

    "I've been in double sweats, sweatshirts and in multiple blankets," Fidler said Tuesday. "I have this neighbor who heard my cry for a flashlight so he put [supply bag] together for me and I walked again in the deep snow to another building for that. I'm super hungry. We have electric stoves so we can't even heat water."

    Fidler said many residents in her area have been walking around looking for food.

    "I couldn't really sleep cause my dog was shivering under all our blankets and I felt bad but we just stayed wrapped up," Fidler said. "It's not like I could do much while hiding in my covers so I had been on my phone trying not to lose my sanity."
    Robert Salazar wears makeshift snow boots as the state of Texas experiences widespread power outages and record-breaking temperatures in Houston, U.S., February 16, 2021
    © REUTERS / CALLAGHAN O'HARE
    Robert Salazar wears makeshift snow boots as the state of Texas experiences widespread power outages and record-breaking temperatures in Houston, U.S., February 16, 2021

    Austin Mayor Steve Adler said on Tuesday that hundreds of thousands of residents in Austin are still without power.

    Andrew Lopez of the city of Houston told Sputnik he has been without power and running water for about 32 hours. However, he immediately prepared for the worst when he heard the weather warnings

    "I thought ahead and filled every pitcher and water bottle I owned prior to Monday morning," Lopez said on Tuesday. "To combat the cold I pitched my backpacking tent inside the house and that's where the dogs and I sleep as it traps our body heat in such a small area - added some blankets on top for extra insulation."

    Lopez said the current weather in the US gulf coast is "super unusual. Never had a snow here."

    A man walks to his friend's home in a neighbourhood without electricity as snow covers the BlackHawk neighborhood in Pflugerville, Texas, U.S. February 15, 2021. Picture taken February 15, 2021
    © REUTERS / Bronte Wittpenn/Austin American-Statesman/USA Today Network
    A man walks to his friend's home in a neighbourhood without electricity as snow covers the BlackHawk neighborhood in Pflugerville, Texas, U.S. February 15, 2021. Picture taken February 15, 2021

    "The no electricity thing is really throwing a wrench in all our plans but it's like a hurricane - you prepare and you wait it out," Lopez said. "Instead of dealing with wild wind or rising water, it's just cold, so as long as I layer up and don't brave the streets, I should be good."

    Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said on Tuesday that 1.3 million residents in the Houston region are without power, most since Monday morning.

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement on Tuesday that the Texas power grid has not been compromised, however, machinery of some companies that generate power has been frozen, including natural gas and coal generators.

    Electric Reliability Council of Texas [ERCOT], which manages the flow of electricity to more than 26 million Texas customers, said on Tuesday that it is working as fast as it can to restore power.

    "ERCOT is restoring load as fast as we can in a stable manner. Generating units across fuel types continue to struggle with frigid temperatures," the agency said, adding that power has been restored to several hundred thousand homes.

     

    Tags:
    power outages, snow, Texas, US
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