of "aqui y ahora."
a powerful winter storm broughtextreme temperatures and has
caused dozens of deaths and anunprecedented crisis in the
state of texas.>> when i came home, everything
was flooded.>> there were power and water
outages that affected millions,affecting their routines and
putting their lives at risk.>> my house was destroyed.
>> basic survival items havebeen difficult to find.
low temperatures are affectingthousands of immigrants who live
in tents or who have come toshelters along the border.
>> so what you think then is, ami going to die?
>> many people are askingthemselves how did this
emergency reach such criticallevels?
what failed in the power grid?>> they do not want to invest in
modernizing infrastructure.>> crisis in texas.
>> it is like a chain ofemergencies, when million of
residents in texas are gettingback power.
they have to face a lack ofdrinking water, and food.
i am teresa rodriguez.hello.
>> welcome to "aqui y ahora."what many people are wondering
is if the other parts of thecome -- country are able to
withstand a similar crisis.our reporter is in dallas and
spoke with homeless families.how are you?
what did these families tellyou?
>> here in dallas, temperaturescontinue to remain cold but
things are improving.but the problems have not ended.
new shelters are being openedbut not everyone can go to them.
as was the case with somefamilies i spoke with.
they lived the last few dayswith uncertainty and fear.
everything fell down >>.>> what had been her home for
seven years now looks like abattle site.
>> this is the hallway to mymothers room.
you can see the roof caved in.>> this carpet is completely
drenched.>> this was a swimming pool
practically.>> everything is drenched.
the ceiling, the bathrooms,everything.
water pipes burst because of thecold weather.
>> everything was flooded.it was like there was a fountain
coming from above.my father was wearing sandals,
trying to get the water out.>> a friend of mine came and
helped.>> for me, it was difficult to
see that because he is diabetic,the water is cold.
>> she is divorced.she lives were there two
daughters -- with her twodaughters, her father, and
mother who has terminal livercancer.
for this family, the flood, thelack of power, and the
subfreezing temperatures were acombination that brought
tragedy.>> what did your mother say?
>> not to worry, that thingswould be ok.
i would ask her if she was coldand she said she was warm.
>> the gold was affectingmillions of residents throughout
the state who had also had theirpower cut off.
>> how many days have you nothad power?
>> since midday monday.and we still do not have power.
yes, things have been difficult.we dont have heating.
we cannot heat up water.cannot bathe.
>> jose lives in another part ofdallas as a cook.
he says he was desperate tryingto get warmth for his wife and
children.>> it was about 3:00 or 4:00
a.m. on monday night andtemperatures were three or four
degrees below zero.the cold was too much for us.
we had a lot of blankets on butyou could still not warm up.
you felt pain in your bones, youfelt freezing, you felt nothing
could warm you up.>> the extreme temperature
surprised residents as well asthe infrastructure system which
collapsed under heavy demand.this is when generators and
turbines froze.several roaming blackouts had to
be scheduled, leaving manypeople in texas without the
resources to warm up.they build a fire.
>> we heat up water just to washour hands.
wash our mouths.because water coming from the
pipes is very cold.>> its an idea that carries
risk.>> something could happen.
somebody could burn themselves.we may even burn the house.
>> in a dangerous situation, shecould not get her mother out of
the flooded house.>> i called 911 and an ambulance
could not come help my mother.>> in the middle of the cold the
took extreme measures.they were debating between
risking their lives and losingthem.
>> we put candles around mymothers bed to heat her up
because we did not have power.>> there was danger of a fire.
>> we had an oxygen tank.that is dangerous.
somebody came to install theoxygen tank told us not to have
open flames near the oxygentank, because it could explode.
>> then why did you do it?>> you didnt have an option?
>> we did not have anotheroption to keep my mother warm.
>> finally they were able toevacuate their sick mother.
>> my family and i had to find away to get my mother out of the
situation.my father, because we dont have
a sit -- a house anymore.>> their mothers now in a hotel,
but not for long because thefamily has limited resources.
it has been over a week sinceshe has been able to work.
>> my daughter works at a placethat makes juice and stuff like
that.she and i are the ones who bring
the most money to the house topay for maintenance.
>> what are you going to do now?>> that is the big question.
i dont know.some friends have offered me to
stay at their house with mymother, but obviously this will
take a while to fix.the expenses, because of the
pandemic, have affected mysavings.
>> he also has had his savingsaffected.
>> we cannot work.we dont have power, we cant go
anywhere.>> what worries you most?
>> i am worried about mydaughters health above all,
because my daughter doesnt haveany government aid.
if she gets sick, we have to payfor her expenses.
>> jose and ophelias daughteris 17 years old.
she is shy, but has facedadversity.
>> she never complained aboutthe cold, but you could tell she
was freezing.her mother would get up and
cover her from head to toebecause she would uncover
herself.he would touch her hair and it
felt like ice.this has been a very difficult
situation.maybe i look calm on the
outside, but inside it has beena very difficult situation for
me and my family.ive felt a lot of conflicting
emotions.i want to be strong, but
sometimes it is difficult tofeel calm.
>> he hopes do not have moredays of darkness, and hopes that
power will be restored soon.>> they are not telling us any
information.we are incommunicado.
>> the family has faith infinding a new home and hopes
that the employment situationimproves.
while dulce wants her mother tospend her last days at peace.
what do you do to keep fighting?>> i get up in the morning, i
look at the sunlight, and i knowthat god does not leave us.
god does not abandon us.>> carolina, these are examples
of the terrible situation beingexperienced by texans.
this week we found out that manyactivities had to be suspended
because of the weather.including vaccination programs.
have authorities said when thevaccination programs against
coronavirus will restart?>> thats right.
as you said, the authorities aretalking about a weeks delay, at
least.anthony fauci, director of the
national institute of health anddiseases says it is about
recovering lost time.now that the weather is
improving.its expected that next week,
600,000 doses will arrive intexas.
of course priority will be givento those who already had
appointment for their seconddose of vaccine.
and lets remember that this isa problem that affected
transportation, but alsofreezing, because places that
did not have power could notstore the vaccines.
>> thank you so much.its a tragedy they are
experiencing there.we will return with this special
edition.>> when we return, accidents on
the highway and difficulties indoing the most simple tasks.
>> first of the pandemic, nowthis.
we have to find a way ofsurviving this.
>> share your messages o>> in less than 10 days, three
puller -- three polar vortexescame to texas bringing tragedy
and desolation to a state withalmost 30 million inhabitants.
juan carlos agway atells usabout what became a giant
tragedy.>> from sunny days in texas,
they quickly went to cloudy daysand threatening weather.
the crisis was barely beginning.>> this is affecting texas,
arkansas.this is the first one.
>> hours later, in the morningof thursday, the preview of the
disaster came.ice on interstate 35 caused a
35-car pileup.>> hear how all the cars
crashed.>> it was terrifying.
six people died in an accidentthat extended for over one mile.
three winter storms would comein less than one week, effecting
two thirds of the country.the lone star state became the
epicenter.>> meanwhile, a third system
arrives sunday from the westcoast.
it will be here monday andtuesday.
there will be snow surely onmonday and tuesday of next week.
>> the sadden effect on theborder between juarez and el
paso.firewood ran out.
>> you cannot even find it.it is at 80.
it used to be three for $100.now they are overcharging.
>> when the first snowflakescame and intense cold, very few
people were prepared for thatweather.
>> first the pandemic, now this.these are things that god sends
us and we have to find a way tosurvive all this.
>> little by little, storesbegan to close.
and desperation turned into longlines of cars with people
looking for help.>> without work, we have not
been working because the weatherhas been terrible here in the
dallas-fort worth metropolitanarea.
>> fighting against cold weather, which was supposed to only
last a few days, extended for afew -- a full week.
>> very rarely do you see theentire country covered with
winter storm warnings.from texas all the way to the
tri-state area, they are allfacing this system.
>> the electrical gridcollapsed.
leaving millions exposed tofreezing temperatures both in
large cities and in small townsin texas.
temperatures were below freezingand beat records, forcing most
people to stay-at-home.>> we are afraid of going out,
of going to work, of accidentsthat may happen.
>> a recording from the airallows us to see what happened.
austin come a corpus christi,houston were among the most
affected.>> it has affected the business,
the family.we dont have any water.
>> another problem, the lack ofwater.
with the power outages, watertreatment plants were stopped
and there was not enough energyto boil the vital liquid.
>> it is very important to cookand to drink, especially for
children.many have to wait many hours to
get bottled water donations,which in many cases is not
enough but it is still betterthan nothing.
>> there are many of us who arein need.
thank god we are getting help.>> on monday, february 15,
things did not seem to begetting better.
since she could not escape thehold -- cold, he found
alternatives with his wife andsmall children.
>> a pillow with blankets werewell covered because of the
situation.>> thousands of flights had to
be canceled because airportswere covered in ice.
>> television channels like thisone have been the best allies
for people who were affected.it is the best way to know what
to expect the following day.by wednesday, the reality was
overwhelming.two polar vortexes had affected
texas, wreaking havoc in thepoorest slums.
>> this is how we areexperiencing the situation right
now.>> tania garcia lives in harris
county.the water pipes in her house
burst after freezing.>> burst pipes, a destroyed
home, no furniture.>> now, she has nowhere to go.
let alone in the currentcircumstances that the state is
facing.for alejandro, burst pipes is
something that is common thesedays in texas.
>> were getting between 30 and40 calls per hour, more or less.
>> that is why he recommendscovering external pipes, or
leaving a trickle going to avoiddamage.
>> this regulates water pressureso that there isnt quite so
much, and that the pipes dontburst.
or so that none of the jointsare in danger.
>> if she had known this beforethe storm, perhaps he would have
been able to prevent theflooding of his home.
>> the house is a completedisaster.
and while we are trying to dowhat we can, in the meantime.
>> staying with relatives, theweek continued, leaving chaos,
desolation, and pain throughouttexas.
meanwhile, good news was takinglonger to arrive.
>> the good thing is thatconditions will improve this
week.according to authorities, the
number of deaths has surpassed60 people.
there could be as much as $18billion billion in damage
according to insurancecompanies.
this is similar to thedestruction after the 2017
hurricane harvey.we will return with more of this
special edition of "aqui y ahora."
>> when we return, going to thegrocery store became an odyssey
this week in texas.>> it is a very difficult
special editionsituation.>> the vast majority of
residents in texas haveelectricity again, but they may
not have some basic supplies.the recent winter storm
devastated supply chains andaffected the agricultural
sector.food banks and grocery stores
are empty.we say hello now to our
correspondent pedro from austin,texas.
>> hello, good evening.although the situation here
seems back to normal, that isnot the case everywhere in the
state.there are airplanes taking
supplies to different parts ofthe state but for many people
who are waiting for food, thesemeasures are not enough.
they were able to reopen theirmexican restaurant in
georgetown, texas north ofaustin after the devastating
winter for -- storm thataffected the area.
for them, the last few days havebeen a chain of nightmares.
>> how do you feel now knowingthat you were able to reopen
your business?>> the truth is the last few
days were very traumatic, seeingthe situation that texas was in,
or i guess continues to be in.seeing that many people were
left without power, withoutwater.
many businesses were closed,like ours, which was closed for
all these days.it is truly sad and
traumatizing.>> the family restaurant, which
employs 18 people, was closedfor four days.
they tell us before reopening,they had to throw away food that
was spoiled because of the lackof electricity.
>> for small businesses such asours, we felt that we felt it
quite a bit because it is toomuch food that had to be thrown
away.>> the lack of basic supplies
because of the closed highwayshas limited their ability to buy
fresh food to replace what theyhad to throw away.
>> everything is practicallyempty.
right now i have to go to southaustin to pick up some
tortillas.and a few other things that we
need here.im hoping to find something, to
have the product, so that i cansell it.
otherwise we will have to closebecause we wont have anything
to sell.>> the reality is forcing
millions of texans to make lines-- to stand in lines outside of
grocery stores, which now havelimited hours.
>> we are not used to this intexas.
now we have to withstand thisand ask god that we get through
this quickly.>> you never imagined this?
>> no.i have lived here for eight
years and theres never beenanything like this.
nothing like this had everhappened before.
>> despite the lack of food andbasic supplies, she wants to
keep the doors to the restaurantopen.
>> those of us who have somesupplies are trying to give the
best service to our clients.its impossible because we are
missing a lot.>> juan is a regular customer of
the restaurant.he said as soon as he found out
the restaurant had reopened, hetold his coworkers.
>> i was talking to him and isaid it is open.
a week without having to comehere and eat here.
>> they are trying to return tonormalcy, to their routines.
>> what was the failure?>> well, these temperatures.
the cold temperatures happenevery year.
people get prepared for that.but we were not ready for that.
it caught us without food,without generators, without
gasoline.we were asleep at the switch.
>> they expect to provide goodservice for their customers, but
also wants to watch out for hisemployees.
>> if our income is reduced,then our employees also end up
without a job.>> for many people, being back
at work is them a glimmer ofhope.
>> the truth is i feel very goodbecause we were able to return
to work.we are able to be back at our
jobs and continue earning moneyfor our expenses.
>> what do you think?will we see more winters like
this year?>> i think so.
this is a sign that mothernature is sending us.
i think that, yes, we willprobably see something similar.
maybe not as strong or maybeeven worse.
the climate is changingdramatically.
we are seeing that.we see its also in the rainfall
we have had the last few years.>> they say that they do not
give up in their desire to keeptheir restaurant open.
and thanks to their loyalcustomers and the quality of
their food, they hope tocontinue.
>> little by little, people indifferent sectors are resuming
their normal activities, butthere are people who are getting
electrical bills that areexorbitantly high.
what is the government doingabout this?
>> the governor of texasannounced this afternoon two
things.one, a moratorium on payments.
no ones electricity can bedisconnected.
looks like he is also meetingwith members of the state
legislature from both partiesthat -- to work on a bill to
prevent price gouging.and a moratorium has been
established to preventelectrical companies from
sending out more bills.>> i think that is a very good
decision.thank you to pedro, live from
austin.we will be back after a short
break of the more of thisspecial edition.
>> after a break, difficultdecisions that thousands of
migrants had to make.continue, stay, or return?
>> i said you have got to bestrong, because we will soon
leave this place.>> if people are -- if people
with a roof were affected,imagine the people living in
tents on the border.our correspondent told us how
hundreds of people have hope.>> i could not cross but i did
not want to go back.>> when she migrated from el
salvador, she thought the mostdifficult thing was weaving
behind loved ones -- leavingbehind loved ones.
but fate had something else instore for her.
>> these are the most difficultdays we have experienced as
human beings.we come from places where
temperatures are warm.>> but this is her home for now,
in the migrant camp.she explains the suffering she
>> i have seen -- she hasexperienced.
>> i have seen men crying.i saw someone shivering and
crying.i told them you have to be
strong.we will be out of here soon.
>> many people thought theywould die.
the cold breached their bonesand the night seemed eternal.
it was impossible to sleepbecause they could not stop
shivering.>> there was horrible --
a womans legs got cramped andthey would not respond.
i asked what happened and shesaid i cannot take it anymore
here.>> the winter storm brought
strong winds and some tensecollapsed.
others tore and let in freezingrain.
>> we were swet the whole night.there was nothing drive.
the tent ripped and we were wetall night.
>> children suffer the most inany society.
released this video of a childcrying because of the cold.
in this other image we see adesperate mother trying to warm
her childs feet, placingbottles of warm water at the
childs feet.they have lived in this tent for
months.>> he was crying because of the
cold.they said they did not want to
be here anymore.they wanted to leave this place.
they just dont want to be hereanymore.
>> these images show thedesperation of the frozen tents.
dr. elizondo, an immigrantdoctor from cuba, has been very
worried about his patients.conditions he and his wife are
also experiencing.>> the cold goes in through the
tent.>> what he saw affected him so
much that sandra begandocumenting the situation with
her cell phone.>> some tarps froze and broke.
water is frozen.>> sandra, what motivated you to
record what was happening?>> i was motivated by seeing the
entire camp in that chaos.i thought if i freeze or
something happens, at least mylife will have had some meaning.
it was freezing.i was shivering.
i could not move my fingers.they were almost frozen.
but i thought i have to keepdoing this.
if i die, then thats fin ife iam able to save other peoples
lives.>> this is the water in which we
bathe.the water gallons were frozen
solid.yesterday was worse because i
could not get any water to takemedicine.
>> these bottles of water arecompletely frozen.
they are both about to burst.>> in one of the worst nights,
migrants got together to pray.>> people were on their knees
praying god.that is all we could do.
pray.>> the camp is on the side of
the rio grande, just a few feetfrom the international bridge in
texas.being close to water made it
colder than the rest of thecity.
>> the worst thing was waking upand feeling her blankets wet and
frozen.so what you are thinking is, am
i going to die here?>> the bond fires were another
option to warm up, but it wasstill dangerous.
>> we went looking for firewood.firewood is crucial at this
moment.>> is it the best way to warm
up?>> it is the only way to right
now.fire, that is how we survived.
>> carlos sister says shedeveloped respiratory problems
as a result of what they haveexperienced.
>> i have difficulty breathing.theres too much smoke that we
had to withstand, becauseotherwise i would have frozen.
either i freeze to death, or ichoke on the smoke.
its a terrible situation.never in my life did i imagine
something like this would happento me.
>> this is something i amseeing.
>> the cold wave has been anightmare for everyone in this
camp.but more than physical wounds,
they have emotional ones.>> we hope that god will heal
these wounds.this is the cruelest thing,
being sent to this place and inthese conditions.
we have food, we have clothing.whats bad is the conditions we
have lived in, because thesetents are not prepared for this
kind of weather.>> when the sun came out, some
people went out to feel somewarmth after days of extreme
temperatures.>> these burns are from the
cold.we werent able to cover his
face.we covered him as best we could.
>> hope returned with thesunlight to some of these
immigrants.they hope their fate will be in
better hands now that there arechanges to the immigration
program.>> many people say that god is
protecting them, and i thinkthat must be the case, because
truly, they have experiencedvery difficult test, and they
have done so with practicallylittle damage.
>> sandra hopes to find herfuture after surviving this.
>> god heals everything.i have faith that we will all
survive to start a new life.we will work hard to get ahead.
>> thats right.you need to have faith and hope.
this weekend, dozens of migrantswho were in those camps were the
first to be admitted to theunited states under the mpp
program.that number will increase over
the next few weeks according togovernment officials.
we will return with more from"aqui y ahora."
♪>> when we return, the lessons
learned after the power outagesin texas.
might they occur in anotherstate?
>> at a local level there willbe an investigation into what
happened here.>> after the giant winter storm
in the last few days, theelectrical system and electrical
grid in texas collapsed.there were also problems in
mississippi and other areas.other states are asking if
something similar might happenduring extreme weather
emergency.tifani roberts tells us more.
>> in the last few days, thevibrant city of houston seems
like a ghost town.many of the more than 7 million
inhabitants of the most -- ofthe metropolitan area spent
several nights without power,experiencing freezing cold, and
snow storms that seemed not toend.
she lives in a houston suburb.despite not having power, they
also had no water.low temperatures made water
pipes burst.thankfully, she said they had
taken preventative measures.>> we had stored some water
before the power went out, so wehave water to do the most basic
functions of the house.>> this is not the first time
they have experienced blackouts.four years ago they experienced
something similar after thedevastating hurricane harvey.
she says what is happening nowis not bad luck.
>> it bothers me because climatechange, its not a topic that is
debatable.its not about believing or not
believing.it is not a matter of faith.
this is something that iscurrently happening that we can
see all around us.>> she says that the problem,
the power problems in texas aretied to politics.
>> generally the authoritieshere in texas are very much
opposed to federal regulation.>> she works for climate power
2020, a nonprofit organizationthat promotes legislation to
mitigate the consequences ofclimate change.
to understand what happened intexas, we need to see how energy
is distributed.the united states and some
canadian provinces have joinedforces to create a network in
four different regions.the system is designed in such a
way that if one state or regionhas problems, in order to
prevent blackouts, otherinterconnections can send
electricity.its a fluid system.
not perfect, but that is a planb in the amount of an emergency.
the federal government regulatesand supervises those operations.
>> if we have the capacity, ifwe are part of a broader grid
that connects the united statesto the east or the west, you are
able to move energy from onestate to the other.
that is not the case in texas.>> to avoid federal
interference, texas has had anindependent grid.
they produce, buy, and consumetheir own energy.
>> when this happened, theyspoke very much about being
independent from federalrelation.
the state -- federal regulation.the state would have its own
regulation, which is what hasbeen debated at the local level.
>> providing energy is not aneasy matter.
electricity cannot be stored tobe used during an emergency.
so networks usually have abackup to confront a crisis.
but texas does not have thatoption.
because of their own decisions,texas, an oil state, has many
natural gas deposits, so most ofits energy is produced by
natural gas and coal.second-place is nuclear power.
and in last place, solar andwind power.
companies that provide energyare private, and customers can
choose the company they prefer.that is why energy prices are
relatively low.that means that companies do not
have incentives to make largeinvestments to improve their
equipment.>> if the state were willing to
invest in what is necessary toimprove the power grid, wed be
telling a very different storyhere in texas.
>> companies say the investmentcosts are very expensive, and at
these -- that these kinds ofemergencies happen every 30
years.>> well, 3.4 million people say
even if it is only 30 years, itstill happens.
and when it happens, it is verybad.
>> this judge this morningquestioned their decision to
ration energy.>> why did they have energy
plants that did not survive thecold, when there are plenty of
power plants in colder areasthroughout the world?
these questions need to beanswered for my residents here
as well as the rest of texas.>> they do not want to invest in
modernizing infrastructure.it is necessary so these power
plants can be efficient, and sothat they are able to respond to
extreme weather conditions.>> greg abbott is the governor
of texas.hes asked for an investigation.
>> at a local level, they willinvestigate what happened.
theres a lack of transparencywith ercots in the way it
operates on a local level.>> millions of people were
affected.among them, ted cruz, the
senator who, during theemergency, left the state to go
on vacation.a scandal erupted when a photo
of him getting on a plane becameviral.
in a press release, therepublican lawmaker said that,
as a good father, hisresponsibility was to accompany
his daughters who going tocancun, mexico.
>> its certainly warmer wherehe is going.
said the mayor of houston,ironically.
someone published a picture ofthe senators empty house with
the senators dog snowflake atthe door.
a few hours later, the senatorchanged plans and returned to
texas, saying that traveling tothe riviera during a crisis in
the state was a mistake.the question is whether we will
see more of these kind ofweather conditions and whether
other states will experiencethe same kind of conditions.
antoinette believes itsimportant to leave politics
aside, and to pay attention tothe environment and climate
change, which are responsiblefor these catastrophes.
>> leaders who first dontbelieve in climate change, dont
believe in extreme weather, andare not willing to make
necessary investments, necessarychanges to infrastructure at a
local level.>> and experts believe that this
weeks crisis is just a warningof what is yet to come.
before the pandemic, one out ofevery three homes in the united
states had power -- had problemspaying their power bills,
according to the energyinformation administration.
>> and with last years crisis,many americans were not able to
pay at least one of their powerbills.
and according to studies fromthe university of indiana, those
most affected by the shutdownorders were latinos and
african-americans.>> thats a sad reality.
that brings us to the end ofthis special edition.
>> see you soon.thank you for your preference.
TELEVISIÓN DE PRIMERA SIN LÍMITES, GRATIS Y EN ESPAÑOL