SAN JOSE (KPIX) — After this week’s devastating winter storm, more than half the population of Texas is dealing with a new crisis.
As of Friday, more than 14.9 million Texans had experienced a disruption in water service. That’s on top of the power outages, food shortages and icy roads.READ MORE: Elderly Asian Woman Stabbing Attack Triggers Blame Game Between San Francisco DA, Police Officers Assn
“There was no warning of like, ‘Hey, our whole infrastructure might collapse in the next couple days,'” said Nathan Kohrs.
He and his girlfriend, who just moved to Austin from South San Francisco, said they lost hot water last Friday. They were able to deal with that discomfort until they completely lost water early Wednesday.
Kohrs said he and his neighbors began shoveling as much snow as they could into pots and pans to boil. Luckily, Kohrs had enough he had boiled before losing water but he said that began running low too.
On Friday, they lost electricity and decided to seize the opportunity to drive out of state to Louisiana when they saw the first sign of sunshine that turned the snow into slush. Temperatures were expected to dip into the 20s again Friday night.
“Which is kind of funny because we had heard on the news that they were actually restoring the power and then we lost power today,” Kohrs said.READ MORE: Snakes by the Planes: Endangered San Francisco Species Found Thriving in Wetlands at SFO
For one week, he and his neighbors haven’t been able to leave their homes because of icy roads. A city or state agency, Kohrs said, had even used a solution to try and de-ice the roads but that proved to be an even bigger disaster.
“So the solution they poured is a liquid and it froze on top of the water so now you just got a bigger mess,” he said. “You can’t drive on the road, nothing’s being delivered so, even if you can get to the grocery stores, they’re all out of water and they’re mostly out of food.”
Thousands of miles away in California, Miyuki One Bear, director of operations at Enoteca La Storia, is donating $1 for every entree sold at her Los Gatos and San Jose restaurants on Friday and Saturday this and next weekend.
“All you have to do to help the people in Texas is to order an entree,” One Bear said. “It’s hard to tell you if you don’t live there how bad things are, just basing it on the news, so it’s definitely worrying and stressful.”
One Bear’s in-laws also live near Austin and have been without water. She said when wildfires ravaged California, many have helped out residents in need. One Bear wanted to do the same for those in need in Texas by donating the funds to Feeding Texas, a subsidiary of Feeding America.
Sen. Ted Cruz returned to a devastated Texas Thursday after he left for tropical weather and a resort town in Mexico. Cruz faced major blowback for his decision and said it was “obviously a mistake.”MORE NEWS: UPDATE: PG&E Avoids Rotating Outages Thursday Night as Bay Area Cooks in Record Heat Wave
“It’s really a complete disaster,” Kohrs said. “The most frustrating part is the state leaders are taking no accountability.”