Texas Suffers Through Winter Storm

Texas Suffers Through Winter Storm

Chey Ann Boyd '21, Staff Writer

As we enter the month of March, we cannot forget about the massive Texas power outage that left millions of people without power or electricity. The death toll reached at least 26 people, but it has continued to rise since February 11. When Texans lost their power, it forced many families to take unprecedented measures, in order to keep themselves safe. As the catastrophe unfolded, families huddled over fireplaces, scavenged for firewood, melted snow and slept in cars to keep warm. Others spent hours in long lines searching for food on empty shelves. These stark weather conditions left a scarce food supply and a series of water disruptions, due to busted water pipes. But how exactly did this weather disaster happen?

During the winter storm that occurred, residents of Texas blasted their generators that were supposed to keep up with consumer demand, but when demand for heat became too overwhelming, they crashed and went offline as a measure of caution.The main problem that caused the blackouts in Texas was the natural gas from these generators and their unique energy grid system. Unlike other states, Texas has its own grid, with little connections to other grids. With this separation from the Eastern Interconnection and the Western Interconnection, they often avoid regulations on trading electricity across state lines. Many experts say that this Texas energy independence is the reason why their energy grid wasn’t properly maintained.

In reality, Texas could’ve possibly avoided the power outage that forced parents like Chey Louis of Irving to take unprecedented measures to keep his family safe. In an interview with CNN, Louis said, “I’ve duct taped my doors and windows to slow the temperature drop and I’m in multiple layers of clothing, in multiple blankets using my cats for warmth.” It’s unfortunate that families like Louis’s had to experience such a devastating event, but understanding the cause can help experts improve America’s grid system. Until a more resilient grid can be established, Americans will continue to be pushed to their limits by extreme weather events.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.