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Low-income Texans of color bore some of the heaviest weight of the power outages as the inequities drawn into the state’s urban centers were exacerbated in crisis. And already more impacted by unemployment and devastation of the pandemic, their troubles won’t end after the storm clears and the heat is running again in their homes.
As temperatures dropped into single digits in Austin, electricity was kept on in neighborhoods sharing circuits with critical facilities like hospitals — facilities less commonly found in poor communities or those whose residents are predominantly Black and Hispanic.
Local leaders, particularly those representing mostly Black and Hispanic communities, pointed out that neighborhoods with mostly Black and Hispanic residents tend to have older homes with bad insulation, leaking roofs and older pipes that make them less likely to withstand extreme weather. In the case of Almendarez, this has led to power bills of up to $500 during the summer.
With the state’s food supply chain also buckling under the storm’s strain, those local leaders are worried about the fallout for areas that lack grocery stores and pharmacies. Plummer said during the storm, the few store shelves in those neighborhoods emptied fast and older people had trouble finding medication.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Texas storm: millions without heat, water and power as Cruz travel backlash continues – live | US news