Winter Breakdown: Posts from Members

During this week, members have shared some of their experience and thoughts with others on social media. Here is a sampling, reprinted with permission:

Edith Waters:
To anyone still in the no power no water situation: if you have a cast iron skillet you can turn it over and use it as a burner on your fire then you can fill a kettle or use a frying pan. This isn’t one of those “oh I heard you can do this ” we did it, it works.

Michael Van Slyke
I find it really interesting that, in the name of avoiding regulation, Texas political and business leaders preferred to let the Texas energy industry ignore winterizing natural gas power generation systems against inevitable freeze events in favor of short term profits. It’s interesting because these are The. Exact. Same. People. who look at those of us struggling to make ends meet on inadequate paychecks and snark, “You should have planned better.”

At least my financial mistakes never killed anybody.

Suchitra Chandler
This Texan homestead life … the kids collected ice to flush the toilets with as we don’t have water. We have rolling blackouts not bad so far and house is not too cold .. but no water for last 6 hrs .. luckily had saved some. Bob makes Wood log fires if we need them.

Amy Dark
So. I wasn’t gonna say anything. But.

Texas is beyond broken.

And it’s not funny. People are dying here.

Imagine an ice storm, followed by a blizzard, followed by an ice storm over the course of few days. Not a HUGE deal for northerners, right? No big.

But take away salt trucks. And plows.

And anti-freeze.

Take away appropriate boots and gloves and heavy coats.

Take away snow tires.

Take away snow shovels and ice scrapers.

Take away basements to house your plumbing. Take away pipes insulated for the cold.

Now take away power for the ENTIRE TIME for millions of people. Now take away gas for furnaces and stoves. Take away propane 

And take away water.

Grocery stores are closed. Police are there. Stores are TURNING PEOPLE AWAY because there is simply no food.  Not a rumor–we were there yesterday in person.

Pharmacies are closed.

Police have closed major roadways.

Plumbers can’t respond to burst pipes and houses are flooding. Our water shut off valves here are BURIED IN OUR YARDS under ice and snow, not a simple toggle in the basement.

I have FRIENDS lucky enough to have fireplaces (most houses do not) that are LITERALLY burning furniture. I, personally, know three people who have slept in running cars parked in driveways just to find warmth. Y’all know how dangerous that is.

My city had to close the warming shelter set up in a local high school because even the damn water treatment plant lost power, so: no water.

I have neighbors desperately trading insulin, formula, diapers, and potable water on NextDoor.

Everything has failed. EVERYTHING. People are dying.


Now add a pandemic.

Texas is not my favorite place. For sure. But let’s hold off on the jokes okay? It’s not funny down here right now.

My house has power. We have no water and don’t expect it anytime before at least Friday. Stores aren’t open. Gas stations have no gas. We are flushing when necessary with snow melt.  And snow is melting fast. Which means frozen pipes are gonna be discovered whenever the water is restored.

Oh. And there’s more snow coming tonight/tomorrow.

Stephanie Perdue
There is little known knowledge that every 2,020 years they add 2 months to the calendar kind of like a mega leap year.

This is the 14th month of 2020