Texas Snowpocolypse of 2021: Experiencing 21st Century Pioneering

If you can read this post today, you are undoubtedly in an area of the United States that hasn’t had the extreme conditions by the winter storms since this past weekend. In most of Texas, the weather situation here has never been seen or experienced in our lifetime.

Back in January, we had one day of snow, 2-3 inches. It was lovely to watch as it descended from the sky, covering everything with a blanket of fluffiness. It was the perfect packing snow for neighborhood children to build snowmen, enjoy snowball fights and try sledding on trashcan covers! How exciting it was for Texas-born kids who had never seen “real live” snow (and not that piped stuff they shoot at the outdoor mall for Christmas).

I posted on my Instagram account some fun photos and videos of that first snow. My husband, 18-year-old son, and I enjoyed some time outside, giving our dog Zoey an introduction to the white stuff. Zoey is a mix of German Shepherd and Chow (and who knows what else!), and she acclimated quickly. She did zoomies and chased us around – she loved it!

On February 12th, we started experiencing a round of entirely different winter weather. This time we endured much colder temperatures and rain that turned to ice. Trees and bushes were caked in ice, and even the enormous oak trees started to bend from the weight. While we couldn’t go anywhere, we didn’t mind spending the entire day inside.

The bush finally fell over with the weight of the ice.

Monday morning was a whole new outdoor scene. We awoke to a winter wonderland; a four-inch blanket of snow fell overnight. It was 8 degrees. As the only one in the family with the warmest coat and the owner of winter boots, I took my turn walking Zoey. It was a beautiful morning, and the neighborhood was tranquil. Birds were huddled for warmth out of sight, and no cars were on the roads. As a former Michigan girl, I didn’t mind this experience at all.

But during the day, we began hearing of numerous power outages and water issues in nearby Austin. By Tuesday, we lost our internet and experienced long periods without power – the electric company using rolling blackouts to keep grids from crashing. Our local propane company sent out PSAs telling all customers to set their thermostats to 60 degrees (preferably lower!)  When people could get out, they raided grocery stores, but this time it wasn’t toilet paper they wanted to stock up on. It was just the basics.

Every time the electricity would pop back on, it was like the family doing a 100-meter dash: take a quick shower, make another cup of coffee, warm up any food in the microwave, download a movie or podcasts for later make sure all electronics and back-up batteries were charged.

Then, late in the evening, the water dripped to a stop. There is some significant damage to our water system, and repairs will take a couple days (at last report).

Today we are living like 21st-century pioneers, bringing snow from outside to melt in order to wash our hands and flush toilets. We have had to cut back on snacking and plan one good meal a day so groceries and freezer foods can last until grocery stores can restock. (Even local gas stations are empty.) My 18-year-old is getting the jitters with no cell phone, no internet, no tv. Hey, when they were 18, his parents lived without those things back in the 1980s!

However, you can’t say that Texans don’t have ingenuity!

Poor Texas! They had no emergency plans in place for this type of disaster. When I lived in Michigan, you had to have procedures in place for blizzards and other kinds of winter weather. We knew to keep gas tanks full, kitty litter in the trunk, emergency supplies in the car, and always have a full freezer.

Isn’t it amazing how dependent we are on modern conveniences? How often do we reach for the microwave to warm up that cup of coffee? Automatically flip the light switch to go into a room? Adjust the thermostat to a comfortable temperature? Turn on Netflix when bored? Use your cellphone to connect to the entire world??

We will experience this 21st Century pioneering into the weekend, as companies scramble to get utilities running again, and grocery stores replenish shelves once trucks can travel.

Next Wednesday? A predicted, balmy 65 degrees!

7 responses to “Texas Snowpocolypse of 2021: Experiencing 21st Century Pioneering”

  1. Here in Dallas/Ft Worth it was crazy, too. I'm a prepper but even I was caught off guard. I've always imagined issues during the summer but never in subzero weather. Thankfully we get our power/water and helped some friends who had trouble. It was a learn experience for sure. I wrote this blog post about prepping for disaster https://www.alesstoxiclife.com/health/ways-to-prepare-your-family-for-disaster/ and will be adding more to it as I get feedback from my friends on what else they wish they had prepped ahead of time.

  2. I remember the snowstorms and power outings in the winters in upstate New York! I hope things get back to normal for you soon. We live on the east coast an a tornado hit about 6 miles from us and wiped out an entire subdivision of brick homes. I pray for all those in the paths of every storm.

  3. Brrrr, I don't miss those crazy Texas winter storms. Lived through a few in my years there and the ice was always the worst. Texans are survivors! My dad is outside San Antonio and said it will be back in the 60s this weekend, that is crazy. Stay safe and warm.

  4. Hey Angie,My friends who live in San Antonio sent me pictures of their little daughter playing in the snow in front of their house. Having moved there from New York, they are not as discomforted as some of their neighbors. I'm in New York and we're expecting our 5th snow storm tomorrow. It is forecasted as being slow-moving and will be dumping 4-9 inches of snow in my county. I'm looking forward to watching it happen from indoors.

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