MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Winter weather across the country is responsible for at least 30 deaths this week, and the Northeast is dealing with another storm Thursday night.
Meanwhile, power is gradually returning to families in Texas left in the dark and cold this week. Almost half of all Texans are dealing with water issues because of frozen pipes.
Some Minnesotans are struggling to get back home, including Miss Minnesota Grace Dietz, who went to San Antonio to compete in a pageant. She didn’t know a winter blast would overpower the state and leave her stranded.
“My flight just got cancelled for the fifth time again tomorrow,” Dietz said. “No flushing toilets, I haven’t showered since, I think it was Saturday.”
Despite some challenges, she’s gotten resourceful.
“All I had was a couple chips to pick through and some like soda, so that’s what I ate on Wednesday,” Dietz said.
She says hotel staff has been using water from the pool to supply the building.
“They take jugs of water and then they’ll bring it like back into the hotel,” she said.
Raul Cadena is using a different method to get water for his San Antonio home.
“That’s probably the most frontier thing I’ve done ever in my life is harvest snow to flush a toilet,” Cadena said.
The former Minnesotan hasn’t had running water since a pipe in his home burst a few days ago, but at least the rolling power blackouts have stopped, for now.
“The coldest that my house got was 40 degrees,” Cadena said. “It was just a cluster, it was just a cluster.”
Cadena, running low on water, decided to venture into town. Restaurants are closed and store shelves are sparse, but not being able to fill up on gas is the scariest part for him.
“I’m at a quarter tank, and normally I’m not worried about that, but all the gas stations that I was hitting were empty,” he said.
Cadena says he’s having ice cream and Diet Coke for dinner Thursday night. He got a chuckle out of that, but says he knows he’s more fortunate than so many.
Dietz says a lot of the women from the pageant did not budget for being there for an entire week, and so those expenses are piling up as well. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help them.
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