AUSTIN -- At the height of the storm that blasted Texas, Maria Benitez huddled in her Austin apartment with her husband and four teenage children, eating tuna out of a can and sipping on powdered milk. With no power, her apartment was dangerously cold and the family pulled on several pairs of pants and sweaters to keep warm.
Benitez's power and water returned Thursday, just as her fridge and cupboards grew bare. But now a new struggle begins: The storm kept her from cleaning homes all week and, as her family's sole wage earner, she's instantly behind on rent and utilities. Grocery donations from friends have helped. But those will run out soon.
"There are a lot of people who are still struggling," Benitez, 51, said. "There are a lot of people who don’t have enough to eat, who don’t have enough blankets. This is not over."