While the state's energy council board was paid lavishly, leaders told ABC13 that ERCOT's failure cost Texans millions in wages, their homes and in some cases, their lives.
- There's a tremendous need for that clean water, as much of our area under that boil water notice.
- And we know a lot of you want to know, where can you find it? Well, look at your screen right now if you can. There are several food and water distribution events happening today all across our area. We've mapped out some of them for you.
- Yeah, we're going to be showing you this map throughout our newscast to highlight some of the events that are happening today. But first, we're heading out to ABC 13's Mycah Hatfield, joining us live from NRG Stadium, where the food bank is handing out a whole lot of food to about 5,000 families. How's it looking out there, Mycah?
MYCAH HATFIELD: Hey, good morning, Stephen and Erica. It's looking busy now. The lines have opened up and cars are moving through, getting their trunks loaded up with food. There's so many wonderful volunteers out here who are loading up that water. They're putting cereal, milk, canned goods, fresh fruits, and vegetables in the trunks of cars for people who so desperately need it.
We spoke to several people who just tell us they're really going through a hard time right now. They either lost the food that they had in their refrigerator because of their electricity being out or they just simply cannot find it right now. We know that the food bank is really wanting to highlight the fact that so many people who-- they're just facing hardship after hardship. They lost their electricity. They weren't able to work this past week because so many businesses were closed.
And now they're struggling to get food. They're struggling to get water as people are being forced to boil it to make sure that they are safe. There's so many different things that they're handing out out here right now. Every time we walk from one station to the next, it seems like we're seeing something else.
And I know how grateful the people who are in this line. We've talked to several of them. And they've told us how much this is really going to help them and their families. Take a listen to what one man told us just a few minutes ago.
- My pipe busted. No electricity. And it's hard for me right now. So that's why I'm up here right now. And my neighbor, her car didn't start now. And she's up there in the front. So I'm trying to help her, too. I'm doing what I can to survive.
MYCAH HATFIELD: And that's what we've heard from so many people. They're doing what they can to survive. But they're also trying to help their neighbors in any way they can.
We spoke to one man about 30 minutes ago. He said that he was coming through to get a box of food. He was going to take it home and share it with his neighbors who he knows are struggling. Some of them are older and can't get out to be here today.
If you would like to be here today to pick up some food for your family, they're going to be going until supplies run out. They have food for 5,000 cars today. We spoke to someone earlier, and he estimated they had about 1,500 people in the parking lot cued up already. There is still a line down the 610 feeder of people trying to get in.
So you might have to wait a little while. But it seems to be moving pretty well through here. If you do want to come out, it's in the blue lot. So that's at the corner of Westridge and Kirby. That line, though, is down onto the feeder of 610 here just behind me. And again, they'll be out here until they hand out everything they have-- food for 5,000 people.