Texans Face Winter Storm Uri

Cristele Moztarzadeh, Copy Editor

Texas residents, accustomed to the state’s usual hot weather, have recently experienced a massive shock: nine-and-a-half inches of snow have fallen in Texas this past week. While Texans received warnings from forecast offices of a possible snowstorm on Feb. 11, it officially started snowing on Feb. 13; however, nobody expected the amounts they have had. 

According to WorldAtlas, Texas gets an average of 0.1 inches of snow, a significant difference compared to the snowfall the cities have gotten. Not only this, but Texas usually has temperatures around 50 to 60 degrees during the month of February; last week in Dallas, however, the temperature dropped into the tens. The WorldPopulationReview ranks Texas as the fourth hottest state in the United States, so this snow storm has taken aback not only Texans, but government officials as well. 

Over 9.7 million people across North America have experienced blackouts 4.5 million from Texas alone due to what people have started calling Winter Storm Uri, and, as of Feb. 19, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that about 165,000 Texan households have no electricity. In videos, Texas citizens show their water shortages, bursted pipes, flooded homes and families shivering by the fireplace, lacking firewood. 

According to a CBS News interview, the weather has improved recently, in the sense that the sun is shining more and power is slowly returning to homes. Nevertheless, many feel angered by the way state officials have handled the situation so far. One debacle involves Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who received backlash after people discovered that he fled to Cancun while Texans struggled to keep their families and homes safe. Many find this not only irresponsible, but backwards, too, considering how in 2019, Cruz supported former President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the Mexican border and suggested the infamous Mexican drug lord El Chapo help fund it. Cruz has since expressed regret for traveling and used the reasoning that his daughters begged for the getaway. 

The snowstorm has caused more than 50 deaths across the country thus far, and according to The Texas Tribune, experts say it may be some time before all deaths are accounted for. The snowstorm has affected people of all ages, with an 11-year-old boy passing from hypothermia not a day after the snow hit Houston, Texas. President Biden has declared the storm a major disaster and plans on visiting Texas this week to find ways to help the people and address the issues that have arisen.