By CBSBoston.com Staff

NEWTON (CBS) — A Newton native says the Austin, Texas area is in need of water after historic cold temperatures and a snowstorm crushed the region this week.

“This is an emergency, it’s very dire here,” Amanda Pensack told WBZ-TV.

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“We could really use some water right now collectively.”

Pensack, who has been living in Massachusetts for years, recently took advantage of her remote job during the coronavirus pandemic. Two months ago, she moved to Texas to escape the New England winter weather but instead has experienced a severe weather disaster.

“My roommate and I were essentially struggling to figure out a way to find food and water because our food supply ran out,” Pensack said. They were expecting a grocery delivery Monday morning but it was canceled.

“We weren’t prepared for winter weather at all. We were basically just bringing summer and lightweight clothing so we’re prepared for what happened for us here, certainly in multiple ways. Neither were the homes.”

She said the city of Austin has no snow plows and many houses don’t have generators.

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“Pipes were freezing, folks didn’t have power in most of Texas over 4.3 million people didn’t have electricity and heat with temps in 5-10 degrees at night,” Pensack said. “It was completely out of the blue.”

She ended up finding help through good samaritans in a Facebook group. “I really saw truly what it meant to be part of a community and to have people step up for complete strangers who they’ve never met.”

“I posted, 7:30 at night, 8 o’clock at night on Thursday that we were in need of food and we were running really low on water, and if anyone could help us out, here’s my address,” Pensack said. Within 15 minutes, two women named Kim and Kami came with water, sandwiches, and snacks.

“Austin is going through a major water supply shortage right now. We’re in desperate need of water. The National Guard keeps dropping off cases of water but everywhere keeps running out,” said Pensack.

Kim and Kami have created connections through churches and restaurants to help the community and Pensack said it has made all the difference.

The women are looking for donations to fund their gas. “They’re paying for it completely out of pocket and they’ve been driving, for now, four days and four nights in a row, pretty much with no breaks, the unsung heroes of Austin, that’s the main way that people can help,” Pensack said.

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To donate to Kim and Kami’s efforts, search kami-irwin on Venmo.

CBSBoston.com Staff