Texas snowstorms leaves millions in chaos and without power

An extreme weather system knocked out the Texas power grid, causing damage and death in Texas.

Starting on Tuesday, February 9 and ending on Friday, February 19, Texas suffered from a massive snowstorm. The temperatures started to drop to 14 degrees or below. The average temperature that Texas handles during winter is 52 degrees. This snowstorm made the roads freeze, the power to go out, and the pipes inside people’s homes were exploding from the frozen water. 

Del Rio, Texas resident Orlando Vicuna said, “It was annoying.  We had no water, stores sold out of water, people had to melt snow to use for drinking. It was hard to use the toilet and wash the dishes since it was two to three days without water, but our girls had the best time, playing with the snow.”

When the temperatures started to drop, the power grid started to freeze. Since the power grid was failing, it affected more than 4 million people.  Because of the power outage and snowstorm, 22 people died.  

The hospitals had difficulty responding to the conditions because they are still seeing an increased number of patients because of the COVID pandemic.  

The snowstorm also caused a total of two massive crashes. One crash was a 26 car pileup, 5 people hospitalized in Austin, Texas at North State highway.  Another crash was a 130 car pileup, leaving six people dead and at least 65 people hospitalized at Interstate 35 in Fort Worth, Texas. 

The conditions in Texas were getting so bad people from other states needed to step in.  For example, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (A.O.C.) raised $4 million in relief funds.  A.O.C. represents New York and not Texas.

A power grid is the network of power lines and power plants that brings electricity to all the buildings and neighborhoods.  As was widely reported, the Texas power grid is independent from the federal power grid.  This made additional challenges when trying to bring the failed grid back online. Texas is the only state not on one of the national grids. 

Del Rio, Texas resident Vivian Vicuna said, “Business had to close part of the town had power and water but other parts of the town didn´t have power and all business were affected.”

In California, we have recently had our own natural disasters to contend with in the fall of 2020.  Wildfires occurred in Silverado Canyon, Williams Canyon, Modjeska Canyon, Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills.  There were smaller fires in Riverside,  Cerritos, and parts of Irvine.  The seasonal Santa Ana winds made the fires spread faster.  Many areas of Orange County were prompted for mandatory evacuations. 

When it comes to fires, blizzards, or any natural disasters, experts recommend that everyone becomes prepared. Have emergency kits, plans, and some supplies to help endure a natural disaster.  

San Antonio, Texas resident Nubia Torres said,” The snowstorm didn’t affect me that much.  When the snow fell and the trees were filled with snow, it felt like magic.”