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Texas' Loss of Power During Winter Storm Could Have Been Prevented

By Lizz Panchyk

The past couple months have been brutal in terms of snow, ice and even wind. We had a total of three snow days at Adelphi University and three weeks of continuous snow falls in January and February. It’s been bitter, but we should start seeing warmer weather as spring melts away the icy cold. What can’t be ignored, however, is what’s been happening in the state of Texas. New York weather was nothing compared to the awful occurrences there.

In mid-February, an Arctic freeze surged among the states, and Texans weren’t used to this frigid weather, let alone prepared for it. This cold front wiped out about a third of the state’s electricity, leaving many without power or heat. Because of this unusual and seemingly unexpected weather, no one was really prepared for the outcome. Extra blankets were never really a priority before. This left many to use whatever they could possibly utilize to keep a fire going, including children's’ toys, and many ended up freezing to death in their own homes.

Amidst stress and chaos, we can practice appreciation for the simpler things.

Right before the storm, their Senator Ted Cruz decided to go on a vacation. He had been previously warned that these conditions would take place, but still ended up going to Cancun, avoiding his duty to help prepare the state for when this winter storm would take place. Cruz tried to defend himself by saying it was a mistake and he knew he shouldn’t have left, which was why he rushed back to Texas within 24 hours. But this does not make up for not being there when his state needed him most. Meanwhile, Governor Gregory Abbott kept making excuses and not taking responsibility for what his constituents were experiencing. People have lost their lives in their own homes due to the conditions they were left in, it was too late to try and make any preparations or negotiations. To this date, neither Cruz nor Abbott have made it clear how they will help to prevent this from happening again.

Texas has its own electrical grid, making it more difficult to keep a steady balance of electricity. All of these electrical outputs have been damaged during the horrible winter storm, in turn causing the statewide outages from these forces, especially gas-related, that the state tends to rely on. Because Texas has their own plants and electrical grid, they need to be more aware of just how damaging weather can be, especially because it has occurred in the past. Of course, who could’ve predicted such a cold impact on a state such as Texas? But being one step ahead, in turn, will make for better future complications that may occur. Knowing that this system is very much relied on, it is no misunderstanding that this grid must be able to withstand a multitude of weather conditions, expected or not. Preparing for any outcome may in turn cost a lot of money, but also has the potential to save lives in the long run.

Not only this, but we’re hoping that Texas can start seeing the brighter days of spring, a season of rebirth and redemption. With the information that Texas has taken in from this chaotic and abnormal weather that has taken place, the state can better arrange and buckle down in preparation for next winter. Senator Cruz, however, will hopefully learn from what he calls “mistakes” and take further priority in his responsibilities.

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