Texans in State of Emergency After Devastating Ice Storms



Long icicles hanging from Texas street sign.

Maverick Falconer, Business Manager

Starting February 13th and continuing until late February, cold weather made its way to the Southern states, which is extremely uncommon considering that people down south only see snow every few years, which leaves them unprepared for any type of snow or ice. Even the power grids are failing because the infrastructure was created without freezing temperatures in mind. In the 1960’s, when the power grids were built, there was no snow or temperatures near the low temps reached in 2021.

The recent storm left 27 million Texans without power, but with the grids coming back on, that number has dropped significantly to around 300,000. This is still a serious issue. Now many of the 27 million who did not have power are not able to get fresh running water. Texas citizens have been under a boil water notice for the past week, with some even melting snow to drink, because finding running or bottled water is nearly impossible.

Over 44 people have been confirmed dead from the frozen storms, and the numbers will keep growing if action is not taken.

“My uncle lives in Texas, and if it weren’t for the generators he has, he may be in a lot more trouble than he is. He loves to drive and is an engineer, so the ice stops him from driving around, but thankfully, he is ok. He has never seen a whole state in such despair and desperation,” said Mitchell Bowery about his uncle in Texas.

Another issue for people in Texas is the inability to travel on ice covered roads because it is uncommon to have cars with four wheel drive in the South. They also have fewer plows and salt to combat the heavy amounts of snow and ice. Many roads like highways and interstates, along with hilly roads or dirt roads are undrivable because the cars can’t climb the hills or they slide down on the snow and ice. This has also become the cause of many pileup accidents. In Fort Worth there were over 100 cars involved in a crash, leaving six people dead.

Pile up of cars and semi trucks in Fort Worth after slightly icy road conditions. (Wusa9.com)


“These crazy storms along with the coronavirus during this unprecedented time really has shown how unprepared our country can be when it comes to disaster and pandemic. Many people have died and many more will if they are not helped soon,” stated junior Johnny Rittner.

Another issue arising for many people living in older homes and farms across Texas, is the collapsation of their homes and animal stable roofing. The snow and ice piles up and weighs thousands of pounds on top of flat roofing. In Northern states or areas that get an abundance of snow, most homes have roofs that are slanted. When snow and ice melts, it can slide off instead of piling up; this is what causes the leaks or even whole roofs caving in leaving many without homes and killing hundreds of animals.

Although Texas is in a desperate situation, warm weather has begun to come back, melting most of the snow and ice and allowing for people to at least leave their homes to go to the grocery store. But in contrast, floods are happening statewide, much has been destroyed by ice and are still going to take weeks or months to fix, and there are still thousands of people with no access to running water. In the midst of a pandemic, the impact of the storm is devastating, but with government help and millions of people volunteering and donating money, the people of Texas should hopefully see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.