My Snowbird In-Laws In Texas Describe It As Apocalyptic Right Now
There's been a lot of people making jokes about Texas this week around here. We obviously have it much colder around the Northland, and some memes have been floating around poking fun at how Texas can't handle the cold. Well honeslty, they really can't. Their whole infrastructure isn't designed to handle it. Pipes are bursting, power has been out for days, and people have resorted to burning furniture to try and stay warm. It's a pretty serious thing.
My mother in law and father in law retired this year. They've wanted to "snowbird" for a while to get away from the cold, Minnesota winters. This year was going to be their first. They got a condominium in a town not far from Austin, Texas. Things were going pretty well until last week when temperatures plummeted. Imagine spending money and traveling to get a way to a warmer climate and then having to deal with what you were trying to leave behind? It's crazy! Fortunately for them they have more experience dealing with the cold weather than most of their neighbors.
I spoke with my mother in law on the phone and she said it was like the apocalypse down there. Starting on Sunday night they lost power, then water. The roads are frozen over with freezing rain, they have no salt trucks or plow trucks to open it up. The temperature in their condominium got down to 34 degrees. They both laid in bed under piles of blankets trying to stay warm. Eventually a resort opened up across the street and they were able to stay there for two nights where they had heat, but no running water. They used a 5 gallon bucket to get water from a nearby lake and carry it into their room so they could flush toilets and have cooking water.
They've gone through most of their food in the fridge and freezer. Workers at the condo haven't been able to travel home because the roads are such a mess, so my mother in law has been cooking for them. Her husband and neighbor made the dangerous drive in their pickup truck to a nearby grocery store where it was basically cleared out. They were able to find 1 whole chicken to bring back. That's it.
Things may be looking up today as they are suppose to warm up to 43 degrees. That should help melt some of the ice off the roadways. They still have low or no water pressure at times, but they do have power again. She told me they occasionally hear what sounds like a bomb going off. It's actually sheets of ice breaking away from the roof of their condo.
Some people are comparing this to the Katrina disaster in terms of damage. From what she described, we probably don't even know the extent of damage. There are many second homes that have burst pipes that owners haven't even been to yet. The water pressure is so low that when it does come back to full power, more pipes will likely burst.
A lot of people have really suffered or died because of this weather event. It's good to hear that they are doing ok and everyone is helping out each other. She described it as heart warming to see the acts of kindness from neighbors as they all try to pull together out of this catastrophic event.