Flood victims prepare for cold weather - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Flood victims prepare for cold weather

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Many residents living in flood damaged neighborhoods are still without gas and electricity. Now, they're bracing for much colder temperatures expected Tuesday night.

Each day since flood waters devastated their neighborhood, Jose and Manuela Alcantar have been at their home trying to work on repairs.

"We'll be here during the day to see what we can accomplish," Jose Alcantar told FOX 7.

He is handicapped and unable to stand for long periods of time. Sitting down, he says the water was up to his neck early on the morning of October 31. He told his wife to climb into the attic to save herself.

"I said go for it, my time has come and she said, 'You know what, if your time has come, I go with you.'"

Manuela refused to leave Jose and they waited it out for more than four hours until the flood waters receded.

"She saved my life," he said.

Now, the Alcantars just want to be able to stay in their home, but with no gas or electricity and a strong cold front on the way, they will have to sleep at their daughter's home at night. Volunteers came by Tuesday to bring a hot meal and a grocery gift card.

"Until you're down here you don't realize how devastated this place. It's amazing how much help these people need," said volunteer Nick Bradley.

Down the street, Mark Witt won't be able to sleep in his severely damaged home.

"There's no drywall, no insulation and it's going to get a little chilly in there," he said.

While Witt stays with a friend, his roommate has resorted to a travel trailer with a heater in the front yard.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross continues to assist flood victims and operate a shelter at the Dove Springs Recreation Center in Southeast Austin. About 45 people are currently staying there so the shelter is almost at capacity, but another one is ready to go.

Red Cross of Central Texas spokesman Bill Dorman said, "There are a number of families that have elected to stay in their houses, although, they're essentially camping out at home, some of them without electricity, a lot of them without gas and this may be the first night not having gas heat is going to be a big deal."

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