Former Chicago Residents Affected by Texas Emergency; Volunteers Step Up to Help

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Although power has been restored to millions of Texans, residents face yet another major problem after freezing temperatures took over the state.

Many residents who've already been through so much are facing a drinking water shortage.

The situation hits close to home for many Chicagoans, including NBC 5's Lisa Chavarria.

Her uncle, Robert Chavarria, is a native Chicagoan who lives north of Houston.

"I know what cold weather is, but the unfortunate part for here is that the infrastructure was not prepared for this," he said.

Even as power has come back for millions, Texans say their homes weren't built to handle below freezing temperatures. As a result of extreme cold, pipes burst inside numerous homes, leaving residents without access to clean drinking water.

Jill Osterman, a former Chicago-area radio host who now calls Houston home, doesn't have enough water pressure to do basic tasks.

“I haven’t showered in three days, so don’t mind the greasy hair,” Osterman quipped. “There’s not enough dry shampoo in the world here.”

In San Antonio, residents were dealing with temperatures in the single digits and more rolling energy blackouts.

"We timed it, once it was under a minute, maybe 30 seconds where the power was back on and then hours with it off," said Maritz Layne, a San Antonio resident. "Not really giving us a chance to warm up.”

In Chicago, the "city of big shoulders," people know cold and when someone needs them to lean on.

Early Walker, a local businessman, is collecting items to take to a Dallas church.

"When I spoke to the pastor he said they’re not turning anything down," Walker said. "He says that all of this would be appreciated."

Walker and other volunteers will be collecting items Sunday in the parking lot of the Jewel Osco located at South Marshfield Avenue and West 119th Street.

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