Families powerless against cold weather

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 7:02 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - From rolling blackouts to electrical failures, a huge portion of the Permian Basin is still without power, and some families are starting to get desperate.

During the coldest winter storm in decades, Mercedes Medrano and her husband haven’t had power in their West Odessa home since Saturday.

“We’ve been without electricity since Saturday around 8 o’clock,” Medrano said.

She’s tried to call the power company multiple times but hasn’t had any luck.

“Nobody answers,” she said. “It’s just a machine. It doesn’t tell us anything about when the power is going to come back or anything.”

The longer Medrano goes without power, the colder it gets, forcing her and her husband to get creative with how to keep the house warm.

“We have our stove on—our butane stove—and then the fireplace for now, but I don’t know how long that wood is going to last.”

A fireplace that’s burning old wood siding from the walls. The cold weather has also caused her water pipes to freeze, with only one faucet working.

“We have water in the bathroom sink—that’s the only one—and we just keep boiling water,” she said.

Medrano doesn’t know if boiling water is effective, but she’s out of options...and when she runs out of siding to burn?

“We’re going to have to sleep in the truck if we run out of wood…if the power doesn’t come back.”

Running from the cold and running out of options.

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