Tragedy in Texas: the 2021 Snowstorm

Tragedy in Texas: the 2021 Snowstorm

Megan Pitt '22, Editor in chief

On February 13th, the state of Texas was hit with a natural disaster that they were far less than prepared for. A snowstorm, bringing up to 8 inches of snow to some parts of the state, caused chaos and devastation to many Texans. 

Years ago, the state of Texas made the decision to create and use its own power grid. Therefore, their power was no longer sourced by the federal government unlike the rest of the nation. This electrical system was not able to withstand the freezing temperatures and snowfall. In Brazoria County, Texas, more than 340,000 people lost power for at least 2 days. Statewide, 4 million people struggled with power outages.

As a direct result of the power outages, pipes in homes across Texas were freezing. With no access to clean water, Texans were instructed to only use water for survival. Cities, like San Antonio, set up stations that provided bottled water for the unfortunate. 

As many know, what comes after the freezing of pipes is worse than the actual freezing: the bursting. Houses all over Texas were flooded. The most common location for such flooding is the basement. As walls became wet, the ceilings caved in on many homes. Families were left stranded, with nowhere to stay, and hotels were filling up fast. Some hotels were actually price gouging. Ramada by Austin South, a hotel in Franklin Park, raised its rates to $999 per night.

Death was another extremely unfortunate result of the snowstorm. Temperatures in households got incredibly low, feeling as though the temperature was in single digits. To keep warm, many found shelter in their cars. A woman and a girl in Houston died after making this decision. Carbon monoxide poisoned them as they rested in their vehicle in their garage. 

Resources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/texas-power-outages-winter-storm-devastation/

 

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/piapeterson/snow-in-texas-photographs#:~:text=Over%20the%20long%20weekend%2C%20Texas,are%20advised%20to%20stay%

 

https://apnews.com/article/houston-football-storms-coronavirus-pandemic-hurricanes-5fd491ed5bfd9aa0ae08426c6078539e#:~:text=Power%20outages%20spiraled%20through%20the,contracting%20or%20spreading%20the%20coronavirus.

 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-weather/article/plumbers-texas-pipes-burst-cold-weather-ice-freeze-15954523.php

 

https://www.newsweek.com/texas-price-gouging-hotel-food-water-storm-chaos-1570557

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/two-dead-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-after-using-car-heat-texas-n1257972 

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/salvadorhernandez/deaths-texas-storm-ercot-power#:~:text=Aceito-,At%20Least%2010%20People%20Have%20Died%20As%20Texans%20Struggle%20To,during%20a%20freezing%20winter%20storm.

On February 13th, the state of Texas was hit with a natural disaster that they were far less than prepared for. A snowstorm, bringing up to 8 inches of snow to some parts of the state, caused chaos and devastation to many Texans. 

Years ago, the state of Texas made the decision to create and use its own power grid. Therefore, their power was no longer sourced by the federal government unlike the rest of the nation. This electrical system was not able to withstand the freezing temperatures and snowfall. In Brazoria County, Texas, more than 340,000 people lost power for at least 2 days. Statewide, 4 million people struggled with power outages.

As a direct result of the power outages, pipes in homes across Texas were freezing. With no access to clean water, Texans were instructed to only use water for survival. Cities, like San Antonio, set up stations that provided bottled water for the unfortunate. 

As many know, what comes after the freezing of pipes is worse than the actual freezing: the bursting. Houses all over Texas were flooded. The most common location for such flooding is the basement. As walls became wet, the ceilings caved in on many homes. Families were left stranded, with nowhere to stay, and hotels were filling up fast. Some hotels were actually price gouging. Ramada by Austin South, a hotel in Franklin Park, raised its rates to $999 per night.

Death was another extremely unfortunate result of the snowstorm. Temperatures in households got incredibly low, feeling as though the temperature was in single digits. To keep warm, many found shelter in their cars. A woman and a girl in Houston died after making this decision. Carbon monoxide poisoned them as they rested in their vehicle in their garage. 

Resources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/texas-power-outages-winter-storm-devastation/

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/piapeterson/snow-in-texas-photographs#:~:text=Over%20the%20long%20weekend%2C%20Texas,are%20advised%20to%20stay%

https://apnews.com/article/houston-football-storms-coronavirus-pandemic-hurricanes-5fd491ed5bfd9aa0ae08426c6078539e#:~:text=Power%20outages%20spiraled%20through%20the,contracting%20or%20spreading%20the%20coronavirus.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-weather/article/plumbers-texas-pipes-burst-cold-weather-ice-freeze-15954523.php

https://www.newsweek.com/texas-price-gouging-hotel-food-water-storm-chaos-1570557

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/two-dead-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-after-using-car-heat-texas-n1257972 

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/salvadorhernandez/deaths-texas-storm-ercot-power#:~:text=Aceito-,At%20Least%2010%20People%20Have%20Died%20As%20Texans%20Struggle%20To,during%20a%20freezing%20winter%20storm.