John Henderson’s power first went out yesterday morning and stayed off for 2 hours, came back on around 7 p.m. last night, then was back off again around midnight and hasn’t been on since, he said.
What he’s most concerned about right now though, is his wife’s health—she had a stroke last year, her second in three years, and is still recovering.
“She's got terrible breathing problems, obviously,” he said.
Henderson said his wife is complaining that her throat hurts currently and is having a little trouble using portable oxygen tanks because her normal machine works better for her.
He said the San Antonio Fire Department has come by twice to refill her tanks. She has one large tank that lasts 24 hours and two smaller ones.
Without the fire department, Henderson said they would have driven to the ER “even with the roads bad, luckily for us, we don’t live too far from one.”
Two days ago the San Antonio Fire Department started refilling resident’s O2 bottles because residents were calling 911 running out of their home supply and couldn’t get refills from their vendors, Joseph Arrington, SAFD spokesperson told CNN in a statement.
“Currently we have 4 SAFD vehicles responding city wide to provide this service to as many folks as we can, as long as we have supply,” Arrington said. “As of this morning we have provided this service at least 130 times with many more waiting in the queue.”
Henderson said the family doesn’t have any hot food or a way to cook right now.
“Been eating sandwiches while the power is out and cooking when it's on. We've got some stuff for tuna salad and some hot dogs that don't need cooking. Hoping it comes back on soon so we can eat breakfast," he said.
Henderson said his asthmatic son and mother are also living with them in the home.
“We're making due and staying inside waiting on power,” he said. “We count ourselves as blessed nonetheless. There are a lot of folks worse off than us.”
The family is doing their best to keep the cold air out of the apartment home by stuffing blanket near windows.
“Apartment wasn't made to handle this kind of weather,” he said.
In the event that power isn’t restored soon, Henderson said they will rely on the fire department to make rounds again. Henderson’s power returned as of 10:15 am CT, he’s hoping they stay on with no further interruption but prepared to make another trip to the grocery store in case it doesn’t.
“I'll go buy some more bread and some things we don't have to cook," he said. “Might get some charcoal and lighter fluid and use one of our apartment's bbq grills to cook. Really nothing to do but wait it out. We're survivors. Worst case scenario: we'll have to go to a hotel. Can't really afford that option for an extended period.”