Texans reflect on historic winter storm


February 15th, 2021: Just a day after Valentine’s, Texas was completely covered in snow. Millions across the state were confined to their homes due to hazardous roads. To make matters worse, electricity and running water were absent in most households, as the temperature started to fall as low as 16°F.

Even weeks after the storm, Texans struggle with broken pipes, outrageously high electric bills, and some still struggle to access clean water in some parts.

“It really sucked because it was my birthday the day it happened,” junior Jane Culwell said. “Our power went out for a day, so we had to go to our grandma’s, but her [power] went out too. I then stayed at my friend’s house for a little bit when it was safe to drive, but then hers went out, so then I finally went back home and then it finally turned back on.” Jane resides in Southern Houston.

The COVID-19 pandemic already has restricted many Americans to their homes the past year. With no electricity or online entertainment, Texans came crawling back to the traditional ways of leisure.

“It felt like home because I am Russian, and the storm made me nostalgic because I miss the snow,” senior, Daria Ovsyannikova chuckled. “My parents and I played a bunch of board games and we lit candles; it was fun. I realized that I need to spend more time with my family because I truly realized how much I missed them and the days I spent with my parents.”

Years before the winter storm hit Houston, freshman biology teacher Sergio Arjon was well prepared for the freezing, inclement weather.

“I had prior experience in these situations; my parents aren’t from this country and are from the countryside,” Arjon reminisced. “I didn’t have running water; our water source was from a well in the middle of the house. No central ac/heat either. We would bundle and huddle up at night. My family would use firewood for heat to warm up and cook.”

Many in Texas experienced a range of conditions and adversity. While some were rarely affected, there some that continue to deal with the aftermath of this storm. Yet, despite the tragedies and inconvenience the winter storm inflicted on Texans, one can always find a positive from a negative situation.

“Those experiences as a kid taught me a lot; I can rely on myself and what has been given to me,” Arjon said. “My family is the best and prepared me for more than I can imagine!”