On February 14, 2021, a winter storm unlike anything I’ve ever seen before descended upon the shorts-wearing, taco-loving, generally good-natured city of Austin, Texas. We knew it was coming. The week prior, we all laughed at the predictions in our weather apps. More snow? Ha! Single digit temps? Ha! Ice on the roads? Yeah, okay, that happens. But no one was expecting what came next: no power, no water, and horror stories of people struggling to stay warm.
In so many ways, we got lucky. We stocked up on food a couple days before the storm hit. We wrapped the outdoor faucets in moving blankets. And what really saved us: our gas stove. We all slept together in a big bed under goose down comforters at night and wore every jacket we owned during the day. Others weren’t so lucky. People were freezing all over Austin. Pipes were bursting. Our beloved HEBs were closed, so food was scarce.
It was the kind of disaster that made you wish you could run off to Cancun and just leave everyone else to suffer. But seriously, who would do something like that while their neighbors froze?
Anyway, here are some photos we snapped of this hopefully once in a lifetime event.
The water came back late Wednesday evening, with the power following it a couple of hours later. We didn’t know if it was going to stay on, so we shut down everything non-essential and charged up our phones, iPads, and dead power bricks. Luckily for us, the power didn’t drop, and we woke up in a warm 68-degree home.
Not all of our friends and family have been so lucky. Some don’t have gas stoves and had to cook food using their camping stoves. Others are still without power and water as I write this on Friday morning. We’re keeping in touch to make sure everyone gets things they need.
We survived this disaster (so far) without any major damage to the house, ourselves, or our marriage. We’ll be under a boil water notice for a week, and I’m super thirsty, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s nothing to complain about.
The power will come back. The water will come back. HEB will be fully stocked again in a few days. Fingers will be pointed, no one will be held accountable, and life will go on.
All that will change is that we’ll be better prepared for the next one.
Stay warm. Stay safe.