Since Feb. 10, there has been a statewide power outage and supply shortage in Texas due to the second coldest winter storm ever, Uri.
The storm brought freezing temperatures, snow and ice. These low temperatures caused major power outages, water pipe bursts, carbon monoxide poisoning, shortages of gas, food and water throughout Texas.
Uri has caused a lot of businesses in Texas to shut down because of the unsafe conditions and has brought many people’s education and jobs to a halt.
Some Florida Southern College students and their families have been impacted by the storm.
Senior Atley Brown is from Austin, Texas and is a residential student at FSC. However, her parents and sister are home in Austin, and some of her other family members are located in Houston, Dallas and Waco.
“My sister, at the University of Texas, didn’t have class for six class days due to rolling blackouts,” Brown said. “My dad hasn’t worked for eight weekdays due to pipes bursting at the school he works at.”
Many families have been having similar struggles or worse in Texas statewide. Since Uri hit, there have been approximately 4 million people without power in Texas.
“My parents and sister were all very lucky and had power the whole time,” Brown said. “They did go four days without water and are now on a boil notice. My Houston and Dallas family lost power for three days and had no heat.”
Heather Howard is the mother of sophomore Lily Howard and is from Rockwall, Texas.
“[The winter storm] did affect our family for food,” H. Howard said. “[There have been] power outages in grocery stores, so they were having to throw out milk, meats and perishables. Supplies are so low you have to visit four to five grocery stores to get what you need. For example, I was at Walmart today, [and there was] no milk or eggs.”
Many of the shelves in grocery stores have been empty due to everyone stocking up on supplies and non-perishables as well as the power outages causing perishable food to spoil.
“Propane is impossible [to get] because for some people, at this time, with no power, it’s the only heat source they have,” H. Howard said.
According to “The Cut,” homes in Texas are usually under-ventilated to keep heat out rather than keeping it in, causing people to wear multiple layers of thick clothes and blankets. There have also been multiple cases of carbon monoxide poisoning due to people bringing charcoal grills and generators into their homes in an attempt to keep warm.
Since the Howard family had not lost power during the storm, they used it to their advantage to help others around them.
“Our family has been very lucky. But we have neighbors with busted pipes and leaking ceilings. So, I have cooked food for people who don’t have water or power,” H. Howard said.
People in Texas are trying to get back to normal, with the top priority continuing to be getting electricity and water back on for residents.