I recently experienced my coldest week in Texas on record. We had two major snowstorms in the area. In a state like New York these would have been an inconvenience but after a day or two most of the snow would have been shoveled and the roads cleared. However here…
There were sheets of ice covered by snow. This of course led to abysmal driving conditions. In Fort Worth there was a 100+ car pileup in addition to accidents spread out all over the country. It also lead to record breaking energy consumption, leading to ERCOT (lectric Reliability Council of Texas) to initiate rolling blackouts. In reality many of these blackouts weren’t rolling and people in some cases didn’t have power for days.
I briefly left my apartment with the washing machine running to go to the gym, and grab a couple of groceries on my way back. This in retrospect was a huge mistake. With groceries in hand I stepped in water, both on the tile near the door, and in the carpet, all the rugs I had were literally soaking wet. I panicked and had to quickly think of the best way to extract the water quickly. I don’t own a wet/dry vac and it was questionable whether Home Depot or Lowes would even be open. My carpet cleaner saved the day and I effectively was able to suck up literally 11 gallons of water from the flooring.
A very panicked phone call was left with apartment maintenance along with an online ‘Critical” severity ticket. Tried to pick up a dehumidifer that night with no luck. The next day I drive to HD on ice and they have none, and a f’ing fire alarm goes off literally the moment I walk into the door at Lowes. After 15 minutes sitting in the parking lot in freezing temps I head home. A friend tells me to try Ace Hardware and they only have 2 in the whole store. The cheapest one was $199 plus tax. It pained me to spend so much when I could shop around and save $40 potentially but I was in a pinch.
I filled the 22 pint dehumidifer with water at least twice since Tuesday. Luckily all electronics and furniture were spared, the water didn’t make it to my bedroom. A carpet cleaning company came by to do a half ass job cleaning the carpet, over the next 4 weeks they’ll replace the water soaked padding.
It could be a whole lot worse, I’ll be the first to admit that. Still had electricity, water, internet access, and heat the entire week. Many other Texans were not so lucky, so I’m counting my blessings. There’s also been a lot of conversation surrounding how Texas is not connected to the national power grid, is not deregulated, and the system isn’t really weatherproofed. Then one of our state senators flies out to Cancun when millions of people in his state have no power. Poltiics aside, I’m hopeful something good will come out of these recent experiences.