I hesitate in even putting any of this down on record, because honestly: we've been very lucky the last few days, and I don't want to jinx it. Like Michael Scott said: "I'm not superstitious. But I'm a little stitious."
As the polar vortex (or whatever this is) has hovered over Texas, our little corner of the DFW metroplex has been hit particularly hard. I grew up in Wisconsin, so the weather itself doesn't feel that bad to me. What's so bad about a little snow, right?
Y'all, we were not ready. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the abject failure to prepare for natural disasters.
First off, nobody can drive in this. There was a 100-car pileup here a few days ago with several fatalities, and that was just from a little bit of ice on the freeway.
Now we've got inches of snow.
Thus far, literally everyone I know has experienced power failures. Yesterday morning, the state mandated rolling blackouts to preserve energy and protect the grid, so we were mentally prepared for periodic outages all day. By the grace of Phil/God/whoever, we still have not lost power. But literally everyone else I know down here has. Either via repeated rolling blackouts, or just complete failures from equipment breakdowns. Apparently the generators we use here aren't equipped for the cold weather, so it will be days before some people are back up and running.
Also, because we never get weather like this, our plumbing isn't made to sustain freezing temperatures. Which means many people have experienced burst pipes already, which have flooded their homes with freezing water. We (fingers crossed) haven't had any pipes rupture yet, but the day is young...
As if that wasn't enough, our city's water treatment plant experienced an equipment failure because of a power outage yesterday. So the water pressure has been dwindling, and we expect to run out completely very soon. Oh, and if we get any water out of the faucets, we're also under a boil order, because the plant failure caused a water sanitation issue. But we're one of the very lucky families who even have electricity to boil our water, at this point. Most people I know have nothing coming out of the tap, and no power to boil what does.
And then our backup fridge died last night. Which isn't a big deal for a normal family, but when you've got 6 kids, it's really difficult to keep up with the demand. They're kinda like adorable like hyena/piranha/racoons, to be honest. Like... They're cute, but they eat everything. Everythinnnng.
Did I mention it's supposed to snow again tomorrow?
I am beyond grateful at our good luck so far, because we learned of the water plant problems last night, so we were able to boil a good supply of safe water before we lost pressure. Helpful friends taught us to fill bathtubs in advance, so we've got some backup fluid to use for flushing toilets. And, like I said-- we still haven't lost power. Yet.
But, still. This is bad, y'all. My heart absolutely breaks for my friends and neighbors who are struggling. I really never thought that I'd long for the days when my biggest problem was a global pandemic, but here we are.