Austin flood victims brave coldest night of season

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by TINA SHIVELY / KVUE News and SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News

khou.com

Posted on November 13, 2013 at 9:56 AM

AUSTIN -- The cold weather Wednesday morning is having an impact on people forced to brave the freezing cold with no heat or hot water, especially the flood victims in South Austin.

The City of Austin continues to run a shelter for people in the Onion Creek neighborhood, but many choose not to stay there. Some have pets; others don't want to leave what's left of their homes unattended. So some chose to brave the cold in tents or campers on their front lawns. Several residents were roughing it out in their cars. Others decided to sleep inside homes with no insulation, and in some cases, no walls. Many had to rip the sheet-rock from their homes because mold and mildew began to set in after the floods.

“It's like a war zone out here. I mean total defeat. It's overwhelming,” said Richard Nielson, a flood victim whose house was overcome by flood waters from Boggy Creek.

Tuesday evening Nielson and his friend were huddled around a campfire he built in the front yard.

“That's the only warmth we've got for now, but we've got a lot of blankets, and we'll be alright tonight,” said Nielson.

With freezing temperatures reaching Central Texas, many victims are still waiting for answers regarding their homes damaged or lost in the Halloween floods.

“It's tiresome. Now It's been almost two weeks and we're tired,” said Patti Farr, another Onion Creek flood victim.

Residents told KVUE there's still a desperate need for volunteers during the week. Transportation, food, water and now blankets and warm clothing are at the top of the list.

With another cold night expected heading into Thursday morning, anyone in the Onion Creek neighborhood who needs a place to stay can spend the night at the Red Cross shelter at the Dove Springs Recreation Center at 5801 Ainez Drive.

For more information on how you can help in the flood relief effort go here.

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