Ted Cruz’s family has been pictured enjoying the sea, sand and sunshine on the Mexican beaches of Cancun without the Texas Senator.
Sen. Cruz’s wife Heidi Cruz, 48, and couple’s children Catherine and Caroline were pictured on Friday at the popular but pricey Ritz Carlton resort.
Heidi appeared to be enjoying drinks with friends while her husband was forced to return to Texas to face the music amid a wave of outrage that emerged as the state endures the aftermath of the worst winter storm in a generation.
But winter couldn’t have been further from Heidi’s mind as she had fun splashing around in the waves while wearing a red bikini.
The family family soaked up the sun under blue beach umbrellas, some 800 miles away from a frigid Texas where temperatures were expected to dip into the 30s on Friday night.
Video filmed on the beach in Cancun show Cruz’s wife speaking to a waiter who hands her a drink before walking out of shot.
Heidi can then be seen speaking to her children while standing in between sun beds on the soft white sands.
Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi Cruz was pictured enjoying the warm weather of Cancun with friends and family on Friday
Cruz was seen to be vacationing at the Ritz Carlton Cancun resort at a cost of around $300-a-night
Cruz was seen in a bright red bikini as she sprayed sun cream on herself while other friends and family looked on
Temperatures were in the mid-80s at the Mexican resort while temperatures were expected to dip into the 30s in Texas on Friday night
The Texas senator, 50, is facing fierce backlash for fleeing his home state and traveling the Mexican resort with his family during a deadly winter storm that has left at least 30 dead and millions without power and water in freezing temperatures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some 14 million Texans continue to experience water outages, forcing residents to scrape snow from walls in order to boil it for drinking water while hundreds of motorists were pictured waiting in line outside a Houston stadium to get bottled water.
The disrupted water service left many longing for a hot shower just as the state’s power grid jerked back to life after five days of blackouts.
All the state’s power plants were functioning again, although more than 195,000 homes remained without electricity on Friday morning.
Texas electrical grid operators said electricity transmission had returned to normal for the first time since historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures created a surge in demand for electricity to warm up their homes.
Millions are still under orders to boil tap water before drinking it because low water pressure could have allowed bacteria to seep into the system
Cruz gathered her flip flops and held a face mask to her face as she headed back inside the posh resort
Cruz could be seen chatting with family friends who decided to take the last minute trip to warmer weather
At one point, Cruz could be seen folding her clothes neatly as she made herself comfortable on her sunbed
Cruz could be seen as she got the attention of a nearby server as she ordered refreshing drinks for the group
Those gathered were all smiles as they lay on the beach, far from the freezing temperatures of Houston
Heidi Cruz could be seen wearing some shiny pink mirrored sunglasses as she set about gathering her belongings on the sand
Cruz made her way down to the warm and welcoming waters of the Caribbean while her husband was back home in Texas
Cruz could be seen with her cellphone in hand as she checked her area before heading back inside to the nearby hotel
The Ritz Carlton in Cancun, pictured, where the Cruz family is staying costs $300 a night
By Thursday afternoon, more than 1,000 Texas public water systems and 177 of the state’s 254 counties had reported weather-related operational disruptions, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
With power back on, officials hope to replenish the state’s water supply. Experts said the dangerously low water levels posed a threat to residents who needed to boil water in order to do mundane tasks like brushing their teeth, cooking, or drinking.
The situation has inflicted yet more misery throughout the state. Some residents returned to homes only to find that the ceilings had collapsed because of water pipes that burst as a result of the record low, sub-freezing temperatures that engulfed the region over the course of the past week.
In parts of the state, frozen roads remained impassable. Ice-downed lines and other issues had utility workers scrambling to reconnect homes to power, while oil and gas producers look for ways to renew output.
Hospitals in some hard-hit areas ran out of water and transferred patients elsewhere. Millions of people were ordered to boil their drinking water after water-treatment plants lost power, which could allow harmful bacteria to proliferate.
A worker waits to load cases of water into vehicles at a City of Houston water distribution site on Friday
Cars lined up in the drive-thru location at a parking lot at a Houston stadium where water was being distributed
Several city workers are seen amidst piles of bottled water waiting to be distributed to needy residents on Friday
Burst pipes due to the frigid weather have led to low water pressure and outages in Texas
Volunteers hand out cases of water to residents on February 19, 2021 in Galveston, Texas, after a fierce, deadly winter storm
Mark Maybou scrapes snow from a wall and piles it into a bucket to melt it into water in Austin, Texas, on Friday
Marie Maybou melts snow on the kitchen stove in her home in Austin, Texas on Friday. She was using the water to flush toilets in her home after the city water stopped running
In Houston, a mass distribution of bottled water opened at Delmar Stadium on Friday, the city’s Office of Emergency Management said.
Around midday, the line of cars waiting to enter the stadium stretched for at least half a mile, one police officer told Reuters.
Speaking at the stadium distribution site, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city aimed to distribute more than 1 million bottles of water to its residents on Friday and that another mass distribution would take place on Saturday.
A boil-water order for the city might be lifted as soon as Monday, he said.
Lina Hidalgo, the top elected official in Harris County, which encompasses Houston, said she was pleased with progress, but warned residents to brace for more hardship.
‘The grid is still fragile,’ she said, noting cold weather would persist for a few days, which would ‘put pressure on these power plants that have just come back on.’
President Joe Biden said he would accelerate federal emergency assistance for Texas and had directed his administration to identify other resources to help the state.
The storms also left more than 330,000 from Virginia to Louisiana without power. About 60,000 in Oregon on Friday were still enduring a weeklong outage following a massive ice and snow storm.
Oregon’s governor ordered the National Guard to go door-to-door in the hardest-hit areas to ensure residents have enough food and water.
Houston residents probably will have to boil tap water in the fourth-largest US city until Sunday or Monday, said Mayor Sylvester Turner
Empty shelves are seen at snack section in Fiesta supermarket after winter weather caused food and clean water shortage in Houston on Friday
Water is loaded into the trunk of a car at a City of Houston water distribution site on Friday
Cars line up to receive free water during a mass distribution drive at Delmar Stadium in Houston, Texas on Friday
The casualties in Houston included an 11-year-old Texas boy who died of suspected hypothermia in his family’s mobile home.
Cristian Pavon’s mother found him unresponsive, huddled under a pile of blankets, on Tuesday – after his home in Conroe lost power last weekend as temperatures plunged to single digits.
The boy, who had no pre-existing conditions, was pronounced dead on Tuesday afternoon. Just hours earlier, he’d been excited to see snow for the first time after moving to the US from Honduras in 2019 to live with his mom.
Cristian is one of at least 30 people to have died in Texas since the storms struck, causing rolling power blackouts that left 4.4 million people without heat.
Nationwide, 69 people have died, including many who perished struggling to get warm and a Tennessee farmer who tried to save two calves that apparently wandered onto a frozen pond.
Among the dead in Texas are a man who reportedly froze to death in his recliner chair with his ‘nearly dead’ wife by his side; three children who perished in a fire as they huddled in a fireplace for warmth; and a mother and daughter died who from carbon monoxide poisoning as they bundled in their car in a garage.
In Harris County, at least 10 people have died of hypothermia and there has been more than 600 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, tweeted Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo Friday.
An 11-year-old Texas boy who was excited at seeing snow for the first time died of suspected hypothermia in his family’s mobile home just hours before Ted Cruz abandoned his state at the height of the storm crisis and jetted off on a luxury holiday to Cancun. Cristian Pavon pictured
His devastated mother Maria Elisa Pineda told the Washington Post she went to check on him as he was huddled under a pile of blankets in bed and found him unresponsive. Pictured the trailer
The victims included 84-year-old Mary Gee (pictured) whose family said she froze to death in her home in Houston before a burglar robbed items from her apartment
Wesley Crow, 57, (pictured) collapsed and died in his old farmhouse just outside Santa Fe after he and his sister Laura were left for almost two days without power
The victims include 84-year-old Mary Gee whose family said she froze to death in her home in Houston before a burglar robbed items from her apartment.
Over in Abilene, a man was found frozen to death Wednesday in his recliner chair and his wife was taken to hospital where she remains ‘in peril’ after suffering without power for several days.
Another man died at a health care facility in the city when a lack of water pressure made medical treatment impossible.
The three children who perished in a house fire in Sugar Land when they huddled in a fireplace to stay warm during power outages have now been named as Olivia, Edison and Colette Nguyen.
The siblings and their grandmother Le Loan died in the early hours of Tuesday morning during the blackouts.
Investigators believe the family was using a fireplace to stay warm when a fire broke out.
The three children who perished in a house fire in Sugar Land Tuesday morning when they huddled in a fireplace to stay warm during power outages have now been named as Olivia, Edison and Colette Nguyen
The siblings and their grandmother Le Loan died in the early hours of Tuesday morning during the blackouts
Firefighters were called out around 2 am and tackled the blaze but the four victims were confirmed dead. The children’s mom Jackie Nguyen and a friend were also injured and taken to hospital.
In Houston, Etenesh Mersha and her 7-year-old daughter Rakeb Shelemu died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning Monday after they huddled in their car in the garage for warmth amid a blackout in their home.
Etenesh’s husband Ato Shalemu Bekele and their 8-year-old son Beimnet Shalemu were also rushed to hospital where the little boy was still in ICU two days later.
Wesley Crow, 57, collapsed and died in his old farmhouse just outside Santa Fe after he and his sister Laura were left for almost two days without power.
‘He just collapsed, his eyes rolled up into his head and just stopped breathing,’ Crow told ABC13.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz speaks to the media at the Cancun International Airport before boarding his plane back to the U.S., in Cancun, Mexico February 18, 2021. He was wearing a Texas mask and spoke briefly to Telemundo, a local station, amid uproar over his planned vacation during the worst energy crisis Texas has ever seen
Cruz is seen checking into his return flight home to Texas at Cancun International Airport in Cancun, Mexico on Thursday. He told Hannity that he initially planned to return on Saturday
Cruz pictured arriving on Thursday at Cancun Airport amid uproar over his planned vacation to Mexico in the middle of an energy crisis in Texas
Ted Cruz checks in for a flight at Cancun International Airport
Senator Cruz, meanwhile, landed back in Houston on Thursday afternoon and said he ‘regrets’ flying to Cancun in the middle of the state’s energy crisis for a vacation but insisted he was ‘just trying to be a dad.’
Cruz enraged his state by fleeing in the midst of the worst snow storms to hit the Lone Star State in decades, with the power failing for millions, and people left freezing in the subzero temperatures.
The lawmaker claimed that his 10 and 12-year-old daughters asked him on Wednesday if they go could go on vacation to Mexico with their friends, so he and his wife boarded a plane hours later.
‘It was obviously a mistake and in hindsight I wouldn’t have done it,’ he said, speaking on arrival at home in Houston. ‘I was trying to be a dad.
‘And all of us have made decisions… when you’ve got two girls who have been cold for two days, and haven’t had heat or power, and they are saying: “Look, we don’t have school, why don’t we go, let’s get out of here.”
‘I think there are a lot of parents that’d be like, if I can do this, great.’
Cruz was initially due to return to Texas on Saturday.
Speaking to Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night Cruz said: ‘So last night I flew down with [my daughters] to the beach and then I flew back this afternoon.
‘I had initially planned to stay through the weekend.
‘But as I was heading down there, you know, I started to have second thoughts almost immediately because the crisis here in Texas, you need to be here on the ground.
An Oncor Electric Delivery crew works on restoring power to a neighborhood in Odessa Thursday
An Oncor Electric Delivery lineman crew works on repairing a utility pole that was damaged by the winter storm
Oncor Electric Delivery linemen wait for a new work order after repairing a utility pole damaged by snow and ice in Odessa
‘As much as you can do by phone and Zoom, it’s not the same as being here.’
Asked directly what he was thinking, Cruz replied: ‘You question what I was thinking, and … I was trying to take care of my family.
‘I was trying to take care of my kids. It’s unfortunate, the fire storm that came from it. It was not my intention. In saying yes to my daughters to somehow diminish all the Texans that were going through real hardship.’
Protesters at Houston airport held out signs as he landed on Thursday that read: ’24 dead’. Others gathered outside his home to show their anger at his jaunt.
They yelled: ‘Resign!’ as he spoke to local media outside his Colonial Revival home.
He also claimed that the girls asked him ‘yesterday’ if they could go away, and he and Heidi ‘agreed’. Within hours they were all on the plane.
Protesters waited for Cruz outside his home on Thursday afternoon as he arrived home, less than 24 hours after leaving