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CBS2 Speaks With New Yorkers Riding Out Deadly Winter Storm Disaster In Texas

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A number of current and former New Yorkers are among millions still without power and water four days after a deadly winter storm slammed Texas.

As CBS2's Jessica Moore reported Thursday, they're trying their best to ride out the storm.

It's being called a full-on humanitarian crisis.

"This is worse than Harvey, and we lost everything," one woman said.

Widespread power outages, a statewide food shortage and millions of people without heat and water are fighting to survive in their own homes as ice and snow blanket the state.

"It's a complete catastrophe what's happened in the last week here," said Adam Levinson, who moved to Texas from New Rochelle.

Levinson has been without power for four days, using his car to warm-up and charge electronics.

"You can't go to the store and go buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk because the shelves are wiped clean," said Kimberly Fleary, who used to live in New York City.

Fleary, a nurse from Brooklyn, moved to Texas in 2018 to escape the brutal Northeast winters.

This week she, her husband and four young children moved in with her parents and brother to ride out the storm.

"He ended up going to four different gas stations just to get one gallon of milk," Fleary said.

Dr. Niket Sonpal, a gastroenterologist in Brooklyn, was visiting family in Austin, Texas when the storm hit.

"People are sleeping on the floors. I have friends who are, basically, six to eight to an apartment," said Sonpal.

Texas has its own power grid that is not federally managed, which means it can't borrow power from other states in an emergency.

ERCOT, the company that runs the power grid, said it was forced to perform rolling blackouts to avoid a collapse of the entire system.

"It's hard to comprehend that in the 21st century, that people are literally waiting outside of hoses in the middle of the street, trying to fill up buckets of water," Levinson said.

At least 38 deaths are now blamed on the storm, with many people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning as they use their cars inside closed garages to try to stay warm.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz us under fire for taking a trip to Cancun as his state deals with the natural disaster.

In a statement Thursday, Cruz said he promised his daughters the trip before the storm and, "wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon."


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