Wacky Weather in Texas


Amanda Vogt, News & Features Editor

Throughout the winter of 2020-2021, drastically abnormal weather has impacted regions across the nation. February in particular kept the entire country on its toes with its surprising weather patterns, especially Texas residents. In the middle of the month, Texas was slammed by a winter storm that left millions without power, heat, running water, and electricity—the state froze. Several desperate families attempted to use their cars as power and heat sources, which caused many deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning. Pipe bursts across the state contaminated the tap water, leaving over 390,000 Texans under boil water advisories. Not only did it take weeks for power to be restored in certain regions of Texas, but the damage to infrastructure will ultimately cost billions of dollars to repair; the Texas power system, which was entirely unprepared for such a crisis, has faced criticism from the rest of the country. Residents received exorbitantly high bills for the power they used during the storm. One individual, as reported by NPR, paid over $6,500. 

The abrupt and alarming change in weather patterns has also wreaked havoc on Texan wildlife. Within forty-eight hours, the water temperature in local bodies of water dropped by forty degrees, causing many sea turtles to die due to “cold stun,” an experience caused by the frigid temperatures. Turtles affected by cold stun remain awake but lose all ability to move, and usually die due to either injury or suffocation. 

To combat this wildlife crisis, many Texans have volunteered in rescue efforts to save the turtles. The nonprofit organization Turtle, Inc. set up over three warehouses full of sea turtles that were taken from the waters and shores. These sea turtles, suffering from cold stun, were collected by rescue teams on boats. SpaceX is also contributing to rescue efforts by donating generators to power these facilities. On February 23rd, 2021, over two-thousand sea turtles were released back into the Gulf of Mexico after being restored to health.

As our climate constantly changes, we must understand that not only do such storms negatively impact the residents living in their paths, but the local ecosystems as well. With this in mind, we must continue to support both our fellow Americans and our wildlife.