NBC's Jay Gray finds out how people are coping
HOUSTON, Texas (NBC News) - Across Texas it's a struggle now just to keep warm.
"It's freezing. It's a blackout, no electricity."
Back to back winter storms and four straight days of sub-freezing temperatures made worse by rolling blackouts designed to protect the power grid. Millions have been without power or heat for days.
"Every source of power the state of Texas has has been compromised." said Gov. Greg Abbott, (R-Texas).
For some, candles replace stove tops. Church vans are the only refuge from the cold.
"How may kids are there? How are you guys doing? Good."
Unbearable conditions are making life miserable.
"We're just hoping the lights will come back soon enough. It's really freezing it's horrible."
Across the central and north Texas regions pipes are freezing and breaking. But that's not the biggest concern. It's people and the risk of exposure.
"It is a pretty tragic few days here in Houston and across Texas." said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
Another worry - reports of families being poisoned by carbon monoxide trying to stay warm.
"Do not use grills indoors, do not use any appliances that belong outdoors indoors and do not run your car inside your garage." warned Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.
It's a disaster still unfolding with more cold weather and power outages expected over the next several days.