“If I had one word to use I would probably say, very devastating.”
Christine Tucker has lived all over the United States.
Originally from Maraval, she has lived in Pennsylvania and recently moved to Texas from Oregon.
She said she has never seen the kind of devastation this week’s cold temperatures have brought to the Lone Star state.
13 million Texans are under a boil water advisory. There are reports of people boiling snow because there is no running water in their pipes. The below-freezing temperatures have caused untold damage to their homes.
Houston resident Ayanna Redwood-Mason has lived there for 14 years. While her home was without water or electricity for several days, there was no damage to the property. Many others were not as lucky.
“We have lots of friends dealing with broken pipes,” she told us. They are now having to rip out soaked and frozen carpets, replace their drywall and in some cases repair pipes.
Redwood-Mason said her husband shut off the water to their home and drained the pipes.
When water freezes it expands; that’s what can cause pipes to shatter. In Texas, many pipes are run in the attics, which also froze. Unhappy homeowners awoke to either a flooded or partially iced lower level.
Handymen are currently overwhelmed with the number of calls.
One resident said they were on a waiting list, and their original plumber got stuck on the job before them.
They are now unsure when their repairs will be done.
They are not alone; it may take weeks for the state to return to normal.
Weather anchor Kalain Hosein said climate change is to blame.
He said a series of low-pressure systems have developed off the Pacific North-West.
“What causes really cold air to come into Texas is the same thing that’s linked to climate change; as the polar ice caps warm this narrow band of air that keeps all of the cold air at the polar areas is becoming more and more wavy.” he explained.
That band of air that at the lowest part of the curve encompasses parts of the southern United States is not typically covered by this band of very cold temperatures.
The state, the residents, its infrastructure, is not designed to withstand sub-zero temperatures.
“We don’t have the vehicles, we don’t have the trucks, we don’t have the facilities that we do in the colder states,” Redwood-Mason said, “It’s been really rough this last week in Texas.”
She said supermarkets are struggling to cope. Lines are long.
Her neighbour said they had to wait 30 minutes in the cold to get in. Many were low on stock, because customers are stockpiling essentials, and if they lose power some of their perishable items spoil and need to be discarded.
Texans are hoping for the sun to come out and bring with it warmer temperatures that can melt the snow.
Then they can start doing the work they need to do to get things back to normal throughout the state.