93-year-old Austin woman unable to use oxygen machine due to power outage
AUSTIN, Texas - Friday, February 3 marks day three of major power outages across the Austin area.
Not having power is hard on everyone, but for those with medical equipment, it's another source of worry.
Mercy Lara has been without power since Wednesday. Bundling up in layers has been her routine for the past three days.
"Cover up and try to stay warm, because I'm already 93, and I need to stay warm as you just see me, and take my medication, and that's about all I can do," she said.
She hasn't been able to use her oxygen machine.
"It's been very difficult for me, because I get out of breath, so what can I do?" she said.
Lara says this is her message, "think about it before this happens, and for us to be ready instead of not preparing for it. I think the city would have a lot to do with it as well. They need to prepare for the streets and whatever they need to do help the people, rather, help us, to communicate, and be able to go down to the store, to the doctor, like the ice on the streets and stuff like that."
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In the same area, some people went to a hotel because they couldn't take the cold anymore.
"It's been well over 24 hours now, and we really need quicker response time," Katherine Young said. "This is causing a hardship, and we were just talking about throwing out all the food in the refrigerator at this point."
Meanwhile, it's a waiting game for Lara, who hopes to be able to breathe easy again.
"We called the city, but they have no idea because of so many outages and all that, and I can understand that you only have so many people that would be able to work, then again, people like me, we're suffering. I can't use my oxygen to help me breathe," she said. "I just pray it won't be too much longer."
She says she's in the process of getting a battery-powered oxygen machine.