Weathering Real and Political Storms

Texas suffered one of the most intense weather storms to come in years.


Jonathan Cutrer

Texas storm fills the land with snow and ice. (Jonathan Cutrer)

This past February, Texas experienced one of the coldest winters in decades. From icy roads to power outages, the residents of the Lone Star State have endured some of the most extreme weather conditions they have ever experienced. 

On February 12th, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an emergency disaster declaration for all 254 counties in the state. The White House also issued a federal emergency declaration authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide support for the troubled state. 

About 154 million people were under some sort of weather alert on Monday, February 15th. These weather conditions sparked emergency alerts in nearby states: Alabama, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Kansas. CNN stated, “The cold air is so widespread that you could travel nearly 2,000 miles from the Rio Grande on the Mexican border to the St. Lawrence River on the Canadian border entirely in winter storm warnings or watches” (

Cities such as Dallas dropped as low as 5 degrees, breaking the record for the coldest the city has ever been since 1989. On Thursday, February 18th, 13.5 million people experienced water disturbances and nearly 800 water systems reported issues like broken or frozen pipes. The state’s capital, Austin, lost nearly 325 million gallons of water due to burst pipes. 

Senior Madi Stein said, “I think that it’s important to donate to texas relief organizations to offer support to Texans and help them rebuild their infrastructure. As climate change wreaks havoc on our communities, it is important that we stand in solidarity with the people in Texas. Additionally, we need to fight the issue at the root by addressing the effects that climate change has on our world.”

After thousands of people remained in the dark for multiple days, officials began to investigate outrageous spikes in energy bills due to the storm. The governor said, “It is unacceptable for Texans who suffered through days in the freezing cold without electricity or heat to now be hit with skyrocketing energy costs.” He is working with other state leaders to “ensure that Texans are not on the hook for unreasonable spikes in their energy bills.”

As of February 21st, there have been 20 deaths in Texas from the storm and 14 deaths from neighboring states. In the midst of everything happening, we must remember that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. Around 6 million coronavirus vaccines suffered delayed distributions. The Biden Administration is asking immunization sites to offer additional appointments as well as extending their hours. Andy Slavitt, White House senior advisor for Covid response stated, “If we all work together, from the factory all the way to the vaccinators, we will make up for it in the coming week.”

This weather storm has also created a political storm with Senator Ted Cruz when he flew to Cancun, Mexico. After pictures of him at the airport went viral on Thursday, February 18th, he attempted to rationalize his decisions by saying, “With school canceled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.” Many were outraged due to the fact that millions of citizens are in distress after the storm and one of their leaders decided to take a vacation. 

In only a couple of days, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised over $4 million for Texas relief. The donations will go to organizations that provide Texans with food assistance, homelessness relief, and elder care. 

Beyoncé’s charity, BeyGOOD teamed up with Adidas and Bread of Life, which is a Houston-based disaster relief organization to provide financial support to those who were affected by the storm. Those who are in need of support were encouraged to apply using the organizations’ Disaster Relief Assistance Application Form. This could, if approved, grant individuals up to $1,000 to help with costs caused by the storm. 

Noelle Hilario ‘21 stated, “I think it is very important to donate to Texas relief organizations because there are so many people in need of our help during this time.”

The weather has been warming up in the states but there is still so much work to be done as far as repairs. According to CBS News, repairs could cost up to $200 billion which is more than Hurricane Harvey repairs. “[The winter storm] shuttered oil and gas production, food processing facilities and manufacturing plants while plunging millions of people into darkness for days on end. Now many homeowners are dealing with burst pipes and other property damage from the unprecedented snow and cold” (

There are many outlets to help those in need during this time. These amazing organizations will use their donations to help make needed repairs and provide shelter for those who have lost power, heat and resources:

Salvation Army-!/donation/checkout

American Red Cross –

Austin Street Center –

Feeding Texas –

Houston Food Bank –

Texas storm fills the land with snow and ice. (Jonathan Cutrer)