The nationwide winter storm is hitting the Deep South hard and Texas citizens particularly are having a rough time, as temperatures are currently in the single digits, roads are iced and more snow is expected. This weather is uncommon for Texas and many feel as though they were not adequately prepared.
According to the Associated Press, at least 2 people in Texas have died as a result of the harsh weather.
Beginning on Sunday, February 15, city and state officials began conducting rotating power outages in an attempt to conserve energy. As the temperature decreased, people began using more energy to heat their homes, which could have potentially been overwhelming for the state’s power grid. The outages were implemented to keep the supply aligned with the demand. The Dallas Morning News originally reported on Monday, February 15, that today, Tuesday, February 16, could be last date of the shifting electric access. This has since been updated though and we are now unsure of when the outages will end.
CNN shared that currently, 4 million homes and businesses are without power across the state. Cell service is spotty as well, as is wi-fi connections.
I am currently sheltering in place in Dallas, Texas, with my family and have experienced the loss of power first hand. We have been asked to wear layered clothing, put towels under our doors and keep the doors within our homes closed. We are also urged to refrain from using our stoves to heat our homes and also avoid sitting in our cars to keep warm. The outages were initially expected to last between 10-45 minutes but have gone on for as long as 6 hours at a time.
Additionally, we have been advised by Atmos Energy to set our thermostats at 68 degrees and under, open the curtains/blinds during the day to let in natural heat, keep fireplaces closed if they are not being used.
Girls United will be providing updates on the Texas storm throughout the week.
Photo credit: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images