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Twitter

Remember when CNN anchor Anderson Cooper made a fool of himself by standing in "flood waters" up to his waist during Hurricane Ike in 2008? A bystander snapped photos of Cooper's crew standing in a couple of inches of water - and a viral meme was born.

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Twitter

On Sunday, Jim Cantore, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, went viral while covering Hurricane Ida as it slammed into Louisiana with 150 mph winds.

Cantore leaned into "heavy winds" and appeared to stumble and lose his balance several times during his live remote.

As he dramatically braced himself against the hurricane force winds, a guy cartwheeled behind him.

Twitter users rated the cartwheel a gold medal performance.

One Twitter user wrote:

"Jim and the weather channel has turned storms to sensationalism for their network in the last 10 years.."

Another user tweeted: "this is why people don't trust the weathermen."

And a third person wrote: "Jim is the dr. Fauci of weather."

In more serious news, Hurricane Ida left a path of destruction along the Gulf Coast. More than 1 million residents are out of power in New Orleans after Hurricane Ida made landfall Sunday night.

Ida knocked out power in Louisiana and Mississippi and, according to estimates, the power could be out for 6 weeks or more.

High winds and flooding destroyed multiple buildings. A 60-year-old man was reportedly killed when a building collapsed on him.

Hurricane Ida was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm over southwestern Mississippi by Monday morning.

About 95% of oil and gas production in the Gulf Coast was shut down and gas prices are expected to rise in the area.

If you want to donate to recovery efforts, New Orleans officials recommend donating to United Way of Southeast Louisiana and The Greater New Orleans Foundation.

The American Red Cross said they have opened dozens of shelters across the state.

You can donate to the Red Cross here.

More organizations accepting donations are listed below.

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief

Nola Ready

Save the Children

The Salvation Army

World Central Kitchen

LGBTQ Hurricane Ida Relief

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YouTube

Over one million Texans are still without drinking water nearly 2 weeks after winter storms ripped through the state, freezing wind turbines and crippling the power grid.

Evangelist Dr. Tawanna Worlds went live on Facebook to issue a warning to her flock about what's really going on in Texas.

Dr. Worlds filmed the video on Feb. 20 from a hotel room in Dallas, where residents were still without power or water in one of the wealthiest areas of the state.

Dr. Worlds is described on her website as an "ordained Evangelist & Prophet with a heart to equip you for God's best!"

She warned her viewers that something in the milk isn't clean. "They're trying to kill us out here!"

She wondered aloud why Joe Biden has yet to publicly address the storms in Texas. There are reports that Biden's Depart of Energy (DOE) refused a request to increase electric power and natural gas prior to the storms.

The DOE's excuse for the refusal was that the governor's request conflicted with the "green energy standards" set by Biden's DOE.

Watch Dr. Worlds' video below.
 

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A Texas man who had $17,000 charged to his credit card by a wholesale electricity company during last week's storms may get his money back -- thanks to GoFundMe.

Over 4 million people were without power and clean water in Texas for 5 days last week.

To compound their troubles, wholesale electricity provider Griddy began emptying customers' bank accounts before they had even received invoices.

63-year-old Army veteran Scott Willoughby, who lives on social security payments, lost his life savings when Griddy charged $16,752 to his credit card for 7 days' worth of service.

"My savings is gone," the Dallas resident told the New York Times. "There's nothing I can do about it, but it's broken me."

A GoFundMe account created by Willoughby raised over $12,000 as of Tuesday.

Willoughby wrote in the summary:

"[My payment] went on my credit card and once paid, will almost wipe out my savings and my brother's came straight out of his bank account causing an overdraft. Any and all help is appreciated. Blessings on all!"

Willoughby never lost power during the winter storm. He and other customers were warned by Griddy to change providers before the storm hit. But most electricity providers in the state weren't taking on new customers.

Other customers discovered that Griddy had raided their bank accounts and left them nearly penniless.

Ty Williams had nearly $17,000 deducted from his bank account by Griddy. His family home never lost power during the storm.

Williams told Fox 4 News he did everything he could to conserve energy for those 7 days. "I unplugged refrigerators, I turned off everything. I turned off all the lights. We literally tried to stay in one room and use our gas heaters."

Still, their bill skyrocketed to nearly $17,000 for 7 days' usage. Griddy told Williams the billing was automated and based on estimated usage. The company said it would check the system for errors and make adjustments.

Chambers County resident Lisa Khoury filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Griddy for "unlawful price gouging" during the winter storm.

Khoury, whose average bill is between $200 and $250, said her bill for Feb. 13 through Feb. 19 came to $9,340.

She said Griddy began making withdrawals from her bank account daily.

Khoury said she was only without power for one day and was careful to limit usage out of fear of a high bill.

Some Griddy customers were charged as high as $400 per kilowatt-hour. For those customers, Griddy offered to set up payment arrangements.
 

HEM / BACKGRID

Ted Cruz is the most hated man in America. The senator was heavily criticized for jetting off to sunny Cancun, Mexico, while his constituents froze to death.

Cruz, wearing a Texas flag print mask, hurried back to Texas on Thursday morning, as angry Texans called on him to resign his Senate seat.

But the story gets worse. Photos circulating on social media shows Cruz abandoned his poodle, Snowflake, at home alone without heat or lights.

Michael Hardy, a reporter for New York magazine's Intelligencer, stopped by Cruz's home in the exclusive River Oaks neighborhood. There, he photographed the lonely pooch peeking out a glass pane in the front door.

"Is this Senator Cruz's house?" the reporter asked a man who stepped out of a vehicle parked in the driveway.

The man, who identified himself as a security guard, told Hardy he was there to check on Snowflake.

"Just drove by Ted Cruz’s house in Houston. His lights are off but a neighbor told me the block got its power back last night. Also, Ted appears to have left behind the family poodle," he wrote.

HEM / BACKGRID

Cruz claimed his daughters asked him to take them on vacation - and the tickets were already booked before the power outages.

Power has been restored to about 80% of residences in Texas, but many people are still without electricity and clean water.

To add insult to injury, some power company customers were hit with massive electric bills averaging $2.32 per kilowatt hour.

Twitter user @KatandTonyT shared a copy of her most recent power bill for a whopping $3,801.16.

She wrote:

"When your electric company tells you to switch but there has been a hold on switching for over a week now. Using as little as possible 1300 sq ft house and this is my bill. How is this fair. I only paid $1200 for the whole 2020 year."

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CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senator Ted Cruz is returning to Texas after a massive outcry on social media in reaction to photos of Cruz and his family jetting to Cancun this week.

4.4 million Texans are still without power or water after 5 days, thanks to frozen turbines and a bungled response by the state's power company.

"Keep your family safe, and just stay home and hug your kids," Cruz reportedly told Texans a day before he and his family jetted to sunny Cancun for a relaxing vacation.

"If you can stay home, don't go out on the roads, don't risk the ice," he told radio host Joe Paglialuro on Tuesday.

He also tweeted: "Stay safe! Please don't risk the ice."

A day later, a sharp-eyed taxpayer spotted the congressman waiting in a standby line at Houston airport to upgrade to business class where there is more leg room to stretch out on the plane.

Cruz requested a police escort through the airport on Wednesday around 4 p.m. He and his family were pictured at the United Airlines Lounge, and on the plane before departure.

Less than 24 hours later, Cruz hightailed it back to Texas after a furious public backlash.

He tweeted on Wednesday: "I got no defense. A blizzard strikes Texas & our state shuts down. Not good. Stay safe!"

He previously attacked the Biden administration's plan to take California’s energy policy and rolling power outages nationwide:

"California is now unable to perform even basic functions of civilization, like having reliable electricity. Biden/Harris/AOC want to make CA's failed energy policy the standard nationwide. Hope you don't like air conditioning!"
 

Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

A Texas mayor who told city residents impacted by winter power outages that "no one owes you or your family anything" has resigned as mayor.

Colorado City Mayor Tim Boyd announced his resignation in a post on his Facebook page Tuesday. City manager David Hoover confirmed the resignation to NBC News.

Go Nakamura/Getty Images

In a since deleted Facebook post Tuesday morning, Boyd told residents to "sink or swim" and stop "looking for a damn handout."

"No one owes you or your family anything," he wrote, "nor is it the local governments responsibility to support you during trying times like this! Sink or swim, it's your choice!"

He continued: "The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING! I'm sick and tired of people looking for a damn hand out!"

In his typo-filled post, Boyd reportedly told people to "step up" and come up with their own "game plan" to stay warm after the power was cut to over 4 million homes in Texas on Tuesday.

"If you don’t have electricity you step up and come up with a game plan to keep your family warm and safe. If you have no water you deal with out and think outside of the box to survive and supply water to your family," he continued. "If you were sitting at home in the cold because you have no power and are sitting there waiting for someone to come rescue you because your lazy is direct result of your raising! Only the strong will survive and the week will perish [sic]."

Boyd concluded the message by saying "Get off your ass and take care of your own family!", KTXS reports.

Hours later, Boyd posted a follow-up message announcing his resignation:

"I would never want to hurt the elderly or anyone that is in true need of help to be left to fend for themselves," he reportedly wrote. "I was only making the statement that those folks that are too lazy to get up and fend for themselves but are capable should not be dealt a handout."

Boyd added that his wife was laid off from her school job for defending him.

"The anger and harassment you have caused my wife and family is so undeserved.... my wife was laid off of her job based off the association people gave to her and the business she worked for. She’s a very good person and was only defending me! But her to have to get fired from her job over things I said out of context is so horrible [sic]."

Millions of Texans are still without water or electric as winter storms brought snow, ice and record low temperatures to the state.

Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Millions are without power or water in Texas after a historic storm caused massive power outages amid subfreezing temperatures.

At least 5 people are reported dead in their homes as 150 million people in 25 states are under winter advisories.

Rolling power outages began Monday to prevent the total collapse of the power grid in Texas. 1.2 million homes were without electricity as of Monday evening.

Residents took to social media for information amid rolling outages that lasted longer than 45 minutes.

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4.3 million residents are without power in Texas alone after a blast of arctic air arriving from Canada froze wind turbines that generates electricity in West Texas. The frozen turbines knocked the power grid offline, causing massive power outages in homes and businesses.

Wind farms across the state generate up to a combined 25,100 megawatts of energy. The power grid in Texas was still struggling to go back online as demand for electricity to heat homes surged early Tuesday.

Some power — enough to serve about 500,000 homes — was being restored to the state's power grid Monday evening, said a spokesman for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

In Houston, a woman and a girl died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning from a car running in an attached garage, police said.

The rolling blackouts in Texas affected neighboring states such as Arkansas and Missouri.

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The deadly winter storm spawned a tornado that killed three in North Carolina.

There are reports of people trapped in their homes in Brunswick County, as emergency services mobilized to rescue people whose homes were ripped from their foundations by a possible tornado.

"It's something like I have never seen before. A lot of destruction," said Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram during a press conference early Tuesday. "It's going to be a long recovery process."
 

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Instagram

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson ripped down his front gate when a power outage rendered the metal gate inoperable.

Johnson shared an Instagram photo of the damaged gate of his $9.5 million Atlanta mansion after he tore the gate off its hinges following a power outage in the north Georgia area.

"Not my finest hour, but a man's gotta go to work," Johnson captioned the image. "We experienced a power outage due to severe storms, causing my front gate not to open. I tried to override the hydraulic system to open the gates, which usually works when power goes out — but this time it wouldn't."

Johnson continued: "Made some calls to see how fast I can get the gate tech on site, but I didn't have 45min to wait. By this time, I know I have hundreds of production crew members waiting for me to come to work so we can start our day."

Johnson said he did "what I had to do," to get to work so his production staff would get paid for a full day's work on the set of his superhero flick "Black Adam."

Johnson said he ripped the gate down with his bare hands.

"I pushed, pulled and ripped the gate completely off myself. Ripped it completely out of the brick wall, severed the steel hydraulics and threw it on the grass. My security team was able to meet the gate technician and welders about an hour later — and they were apparently, 'in disbelief and equally scared' as to how I ripped it off."

Don't try this at home guys!
 

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Not my finest hour ?????, but a man’s gotta go to work. We experienced a power outage due to severe storms, causing my front gate not to open. I tried to override the hydraulic system to open the gates, which usually works when power goes out - but this time it wouldn’t. Made some calls to see how fast I can get the gate tech on site, but I didn’t have 45min to wait. By this time, I know I have hundreds of production crew members waiting for me to come to work so we can start our day. So I did what I had to do. I pushed, pulled and ripped the gate completely off myself. Tore it out of the brick wall, severed the steel hydraulics and threw it on the grass. My security team was able to meet the gate technician and welders about an hour later — and they were apparently, “in disbelief and equally scared” ? Not my finest hour, but I had to go to work. And I think I’m ? ready to be #blackadam ??? #ripgates

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