In mid-February, a surprising winter storm hit Texas and other states, leaving them with no power or running water. The storm rendered their power grid to no use with 26 million people left freezing. As residents hurried for groceries and supplies, they sifted through food with only the light of iPhone flashlights as many stores were dark.
President of the Electric Reliability Council, Bill Magness said “[We need to] safely manage the balance of supply and demand on the grid” and “[try] to get people’s power back on as quickly as possible.” Their government has been lucky enough to be able to get almost 400,000 homes back with power in just about an hour. Currently, many but not the majority of Texans still do not have power.
With cities like Dallas experiencing their coldest day in 70 years, many have died as a result of this unexpected storm. Highways have been blocked off as they are covered in ice and not drivable, and intersections have become a hazard too. Two women died after their car was running in their garage, stated by the Houston police.
Texas has their own power grid to control their weather extremes – but nothing like this could have prepared them for it. Many say that they should have fixed their energy a long time ago, as Texas declined the need for power producers to hold reserves in their grid. Robert McCullough of McCullough Research said “What they’ve done is systematic unpreparedness… It was not inadvertent. They planned this outcome.” Along with their power grid, their wind turbines froze and stopped working.
Many also argue that this storm might have been handled better if the state leaders believed in and advocated for climate change. Republican Senator Ted Cruz, instead of helping and aiding his citizens of Texas, flew to Mexico for a getaway from the freezing temperatures. He has been known for discouraging climate change research and not supporting it. Critics of Cruz accused the Senator of hypocrisy when he stated to “Keep your family safe and just stay home and hug your kids.” In the aftermath, Texas has been able to retain their power and aid many of their citizens. While it has taken almost $50 billion because power is in such high demand, many emergency repair trucks were dispatched to communities and were able to restore electricity to a majority of texans.