BY: HANNAH GANDAL

A dangerous winter storm left millions of families in Texas in the dark as it made its way across the country this past week. This powerful snowfall mixed with freezing rain and icy roads has made daily life miserable for citizens who are not used to such severe winter weather. This storm has progressed and caused terrible damage to the state throughout the week, and it is not over yet. More serious storms are expected to sweep across Texas in the coming weeks with winter weather alerts already being put in place. 

Over three million Texans have been without heat, light, and water these past couple of days. The state and county governments were not prepared for this sudden winter crisis, leaving many people in unsafe conditions for much longer than necessary. 

Lina Hidalgo, a Harris County Judge, told NBC, “This agency is saying that things are getting better, but they’ve been saying that for three days.” In San Antonio, the demand for ambulance services was much too high for them to handle, meaning that they had to find another way to bring those who are hurt into safety. With the shortage of ambulances, the county government decided to use refrigerated trucks to collect dead bodies found in homes. Unfortunately, the storm’s unpredictable and unsafe conditions have left over 30 Texans dead, with many more expected.

As storms are expected to continue in Texas, residents of the state have been informed that they will likely not have power for the coming days. Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, told CNN, “What I’m hearing is that it could be that we don’t get that generation back online until things thaw. And that could be Friday, that could be Saturday here in Texas”. This uncertainty has not only left Texans freezing cold, but it has left many confused, upset, and angry with the state’s government.

 The fact that people in positions of power whose job is to protect their constituents were not prepared enough for a winter storm is not only unprofessional, but also extremely dangerous and devastating. The outages have been disproportionately affecting the predominantly Hispanic and Black communities in Texas as well, which has caused even more outrage across the state. 

Some good news for Texans is that President Biden approved the Emergency Declaration for Texas earlier this week. This declaration mobilizes FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to manage disaster relief efforts for the residents of the state. 

Starting today, February 17th, organizations and agencies across Texas will begin to distribute water liters, generators, meals, and blankets to millions of Texas homes. 

Colorado City’s (now former) mayor, Tim Boyd, wrote a response to the devastating storm and state of Texas that portrayed just how little the residents are being cared for. Whilst stating that Texans aren’t deserving of any aid or assistance during this time, he wrote on social media, “Only the strong will survive and the weak will {perish}”.