As the snowstorms and freezing temperatures continue to wreak havoc in Texas and other southern states, reports from inside the jails are painting an even grimmer picture.
Here's the full story...
Right now, a winter storm is grinding numerous southern U.S states to a halt...
But Texas is perhaps the worst affected.
Things have gotten so bad in the last few weeks that people have been forced to evacuate their homes...
And due to the addition of heavy snowstorms and below-freezing temperatures, the state has been left completely powerless in most areas.
And not only that, but twenty-four deaths have been reported so far.
Brutal cold hung over Texas and the central United States on Tuesday, bringing chaos to parts of the U.S. not used to severe winter weather.— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 17, 2021
At least 23 people died across four states, from icy roads and other weather-related incidents.https://t.co/o8gGy927p2 pic.twitter.com/YlB1XYtPDT
As temperatures continue to fall, this number is sadly set to rise.
According to The Guardian, professionals have noted that the heating of the arctic may be to blame for this chaotic change in the weather.
Especially for the snowstorms that have been affecting the people of Texas.
They explained the situation:
"[Experts claim] there is evidence that the rapid heating of the Arctic can help push frigid air from the north pole much further south, possibly to the US-Mexico border."
Texans are doing their best to push through this difficult period...
We are deploying plainclothes officers in unmarked vehicles across the city looking for anyone burglarizing residences or businesses during power outages. This is a natural disaster and penalty enhancements can lead to 20 year prison sentences. If you need help there are services— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) February 17, 2021
But with little to no options, some have been forced to make do with what they've got.
People have been taking to social media to share their bizarre new living situations during the unbearable temperatures...
Update:— Castro1021 (@Castro1021) February 17, 2021
48+ hours without power..... pic.twitter.com/4No8rXxpNp
Including Twitch streamer Edwin Castro, who has been playing video games and streaming in the comfort of his car due to the power cuts.
This Twitter user shared this shocking photo of their fan...
This is how cold it is at my Apartment.— 𝐓𝐇𝐎𝐌𝐀𝐒 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊 ☩ (@ThomasBlackGG) February 16, 2021
As a Texan, yes, I'm certainly not built for this. I don't even care. pic.twitter.com/FMt8imglJp
That had literally frozen to the ceiling and had icicles dangling down from it.
This is something that hasn't been experienced in decades...
It’s so cold in my Texas town that this container of snow has been sitting in my garage for 2 days and has not melted 😬 pic.twitter.com/60lFBcQXTH— LoLo (@kacchanluvsdeku) February 17, 2021
And right now, people aren't quite sure what to do.
Texas usually enjoys a warm climate...
Yes, I'm in Texas. Yes, we arent used to super cold temperatures. But I've never seen my pool starting to freeze. pic.twitter.com/DUcttqLWkv— 𝐓𝐇𝐎𝐌𝐀𝐒 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊 ☩ (@ThomasBlackGG) February 15, 2021
So people are feeling very unnerved by this freak drop in temperature.
Who knows how long this nightmare will last?
But sadly, it seems as if things are nowhere near close to returning back to normal.
However, while most of the focus is on those living at home...
Little thought has been spared for those behind bars.
Those incarcerated in jails have also been left with no running water, no extra blankets, and meager food, the Huffington Post has today reported.
The news outlet obtained information from an inmate being held in a Harris County jail.
Finis Prendergast, a forty-two-year-old National Guard veteran who has been incarcerated for twenty-nine-months, told HuffPost:
"We're in here freezing to death and starving."
He said that the power in the jail went out at around 2 am on Monday...
And that, despite generators kicking in, power has only been restored in a very limited amount.
Only one of 5 rows of lights in the dorm lit up, and electrical outlets didn't work, he claimed.
He added that "cool air" has been blowing through the vents, and they weren't given any dinner on Monday night.
Prendergast noted that they haven't had a hot meal in days...
And, instead of the usual bread with peanut butter and jelly in the mornings, they got just a small "incredibly tiny, like bite-size" muffin with 3 little packets of jelly and peanut butter.
"What am I supposed to do with that?" he asked.
Nigel Patrick, a thirty-seven-year-old incarcerated in the same facility, confirmed Prendergast's account to the outlet.
He reiterated that they'd had nothing to eat on Monday evening, and said that people had not received any extra blankets and were wrapped up "like a burrito" in the single thin blanket they already had.
"It's unbearable," Patrick said on the phone from the jail, speaking to both HuffPost and Texas Jail Project advocates.
"I've been holding my bowels, needing to defecate for 2 days."
Our thoughts go out to all those affected.
We're hearing from folks in 2 out of the 3 buildings that make up HCJ.— Texas Jail Project (Jail Project of Texas) (@TxJailProject) February 16, 2021
*NO hot food since y'day. Some pods did not receive even a brown bag dinner.
*NO extra blankets. Some were told that they cannot walk around wearing their blankets.
*NO power to use their hotpots. @HCSOTexas https://t.co/JicqOEpVO1
Make sure to stay posted for updates.