By Maria Alcantara
After a devastating winter storm left millions of Texans without water, food, or power, the rest of the country has watched with bated breath as one of the sunniest states struggles to get back on its feet.
Record-breaking snowfall and frost in February caused the state to see over 4 million boil water notices and a massive loss in agriculture, estimated at more than $600 million. The public outcry for local government officials to provide relief has been deafening as citizens are living in unsanitary conditions, many with distant relief in sight.
The catastrophe has exposed Texas’ outdated power grid which has caused weather events that may be ordinary in other parts of the country to snowball into disastrous effects for the south. The state’s grid operator charged power companies a whopping $16 billion during the storm at a time when the price per kilowatt-hour was set to $9. The overcharges have fallen on the laps of Texans as many are seeing power bills with extraordinarily high numbers during these trying times.
In addition, the difficult weather conditions have caused numerous Covid-19 testing stations to close down, resulting in a temporary false sense of hope for the Lone Star State. However, as many have been forced to hunker down together and wait out the storm unable to safely social distance, many fear that the spread of the coronavirus has skyrocketed undetected. This all comes at a time when Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the state would be lifting all mask mandates and fully re-opening all businesses, with these new freedoms going into effect in mid-March.
While Texas just can’t seem to catch a break these days, all hope is not lost. Some citizens have taken to Tik Tok to lend a creative helping hand to those in need. Many users of the platform showcased creative ways of making the best out of any situation or simply offering tips that could save lives. Some examples of this can be found below: