A Texan Tempest


Ryan Lally

“Everything’s bigger in Texas.” Apparently, that old adage includes catastrophe. The world was taken aback by the recent weather patterns which have caused glee and celebration for some, but suffering and hardship for others. The storm system slammed the East Coast, but seasonal winter weather is common there, so they were relatively prepared. Where the storm did the most damage was in the regions which were not expecting it. Texas is the epitome of such a region. In the city of Dallas, a 133-car pileup on Interstate 35 caused six deaths. The icy roads were responsible for three more deaths aside from the massive accident. Assuming Texas residents were able to make it home safely, they were not safe from the storm’s reach.  Texas is not connected to the national power grid due to its huge demand for electricity. Their grid covers over 90 percent of the Lone Star State, and is integral to daily life for millions of people. This grid was damaged by the storm, causing widespread blackouts and power outages.  

While the power situation has improved, a huge problem still remains in Texas: citizens do not have clean water. The vast majority of Texas has been under a boil order (a situation which Priory recalls all too well). The deep freeze of Texas has broken many pipes, and plumbers have not been able to keep up with the demand. To assist, Governor Greg Abbott has temporarily loosened restrictions on plumbing licenses, hoping to increase the supply of available plumbers, and more quickly grant water to the millions of people without it. As the problem persists, stores are running out of bottled water, and citizens’ only hope is to go to supply centers. In Houston, lines of cars stretch for miles hoping to get a basic necessity.  Progress has been made, and the situation can only improve as temperatures are predicted to warm up dramatically.