DALLAS — The sun is out and the snow is gone, but problems and burdens brought on by the winter storm remain.
Many Texas cities were without water, and there are plenty of people with too much damage to go home yet.
Neighbors are stepping up to fundraise money for hotels so families can shower and rest.
Every single room inside of one Dallas La Quinta Inn is booked by someone struggling because of the snowstorm.
Some people staying there say they have tried getting water out of a fire hydrant just to have water to drink. That’s just one example of how people are trying to survive right now.
Being forced to live in a hotel after a storm is one more traumatic experience Tasha Barthelemy, a Hurricane Katrina survivor, has to live through.
She’s been in Dallas since 2005 and right now she says it’s painful to process her emotions.
“It’s hard. It does bring back memories of everything that I went through before coming to Texas,” said Barthelemy.
She has made calls to family and friends hoping that someone is in a position to send her money so she can get by for the next couple of days. Shelter and food are not a guarantee for her or the other families at the hotel who are running out of cash.
“I have to see so many other people with young kids, that’s what breaks my heart,” Barthelemy explained.
It’s volunteers who are helping to make sure families in the hotel are warm and fed.
Not My Son Dallas, a group known for taking a stand against police brutality and social injustice, is raising money and connecting with anyone who can offer help to these displaced people – even delivering donations of food, clothes, water, and diapers.
This disaster has brought the community together in ways we could not have anticipated,” said Sophie Corless of Not My Son Dallas.
This is what a true community looks like in times of despair: neighbors helping neighbors. While families experience the worst, Barthelemy has a message for Gov. Greg Abbott and other state leaders.
“I’m angry because they should've been prepared for this. There is no way we are going through this after it’s been a week,” she said.
The snow may be gone, but for thousands, the storm is far from over.