Winter Storm Wipes Out Texas
On Feb. 14, 2021, Texas endured one of the worst winter storms any of us have ever experienced. The freezing temperatures, icy roads and main water line breaks had caused hardships to many families in Texas as well as in surrounding states.
The State of Texas has various types of energy sources with the main ones being wind and natural gas. Unfortunately, many of the wind turbines that provide a huge part of that power were frozen. As a result, hundreds of thousands of homes all around the state suffered an unexpected loss of power.
In our community, power outages began on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, but by Feb. 16, about 18% of Victoria County was left without power. Throughout the week, a number of households were faced with no power while others experienced rolling blackouts.
“The rolling blackouts were pretty annoying. We couldn’t make food and there were hardly any places to get food, so we had to go to my grandma's house just to make food,” explained junior Samantha Mozisek. “It was pretty cold during the night when we didn’t have power, but we found ways to distract ourselves.”
After the freezing temperatures began to warm up, many waterlines that were frozen began to break due to pressure build up in the pipelines. The Victoria Public Water System was faced with five breaks and 16 leaks which left many families without water. Due to the breaks in the water lines, it caused the State to require Victoria, Yorktown, Port Lavaca and other surrounding counties to be on a water boil notice.
“Thankfully we had friends who had hot water, so we were able to shower there, but washing our hands after playing outside in 20 degrees weather really sucked,” explained sophomore Hailey Byrd. “We had to boil water over our propane grill just to get clean water. It was all so crazy how fast things went from normal to boiling water in 7-degree weather just because you were thirsty.”
Even though many households were left without power and water, some families were lucky enough to have kept power as well as water through the week. Many families who were fortunate enough to keep their water and power offered their homes to family and friends, such as junior Kamryn Nickel and her family.
“We offered our home, as well as food and water, to family and friends. We considered ourselves fortunate enough to have both power and water and wanted to help anyone who needed it.”
Although Texas has gone through many natural disasters, a major winter storm is a new one for the books. Just like any other disaster that Victoria County has been through, the community was able to step up and stay strong during the hard times.