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When the temperature drops, some Valley residents struggle to stay warm

Juan Manuel Cantu, who lives in a rural neighborhood near San Juan, doesn't own a space heater. The cold cuts through his simple home, which lacks insulation and central heat.

When the temperature drops, many Rio Grande Valley residents struggle to stay warm.

Juan Manuel Cantu, who lives in a rural neighborhood near San Juan, doesn't own a space heater. The cold cuts through his simple home, which lacks insulation and central heat.

Faced with cold nights, he heats water and lets steam slowly fill the room. When that isn't enough, he wears jackets indoors and walks around to warm up.

“Sometimes it gets so cold that I have to put on a jacket and when I leave my bedroom and go into the rest of the house, I have to wear something,” Juan Cantu said.

Cantu may be able to get help through Hidalgo County.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Eddie Cantu said low-income households may qualify for space heaters through the Comprehensive Energy Assistant Program.

Only households with an elderly or disabled resident and households with small children qualify.

“What we have set up at the county is that certain people that qualify can apply for assistance,” Eddie Cantu said. “And the way the assistance works is if the temperature reaches 50 degrees or below, people can qualify for small heaters.”

For details, visit Precinct2.net.

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