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Apartment residents living without gas for days

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Next week Austin is expecting freezing temperatures and that could be deadly for some people living in a north Austin apartment complex.

Hilda Garcia's home is decorated for the holidays and inside, her tree is on display.

"I don't know if I'm going to see Christmas dinner on my table, I might have to go somewhere else," Garcia said.

She lives in the Austin Commons apartments, on Rutland Drive. Hilda hasn't been able to get any answers, or gas for seven days.

Garcia said, "I heard somebody say that we're not going to have gas for three weeks."

"We turn the hot plate on high," Garcia explained. "With the cup, you gotta take the old fashioned shower with a cup."

According to Texas Gas Service, the property owners are responsible for repairing a leaky pipe between a meter and an apartment complex building.

Velma LaPoint heats up water for her disabled husband in the microwave.

"He's on a special diet, you know, dialysis patients like that, and I can't make it, so we've been eating like, $0.98 dinners, lunch meat, salads," LaPoint added.

Garcia said, II have no money to go out every day."

Management did provide hot plates.

"As soon as I got the letter on the door I called her and I said, are ya'll giving out hot plates? She said, yes, we're giving out hot plates...but we have no more," said Garcia.

Hilda bought her own, hoping management will keep their promise to reimburse the cost.

Garcia said, "This is my dinner for tonight, porkchops."

She cooks one thing at a time, making meals one pan at a time.

"I actually have to start dinner early in order to have our dinner for the night time on time," said Garcia.

Now, eight portable showers are also on the property, but not everyone can use them.

Another resident, Velma LaPoint, said, Like the way you take the showers, I can't roll him there."

Velma's husband uses a wheelchair and walker. She can't get him inside here.

"So, he really just have to use the cold water in the shower, until things get right," LaPoint said.

Hilda's husband was robbed at gunpoint the other night at about 9:30pm

Garcia said. "Our showers are open from nine to two in the morning. How do we know someone's not waiting for someone to go take a shower and then rob them?"

They say they're dealing with it right now, but all they want for Christmas is the gas back on.

Garcia said, "Christmas is special, we have to have gas for Christmas."

Most of the people living here have already paid this month's rent, and according to management, no credits will be given for having to live without gas and hot water.

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