In case you live under a rock- Texas is going through it right now. It’s day 5 of no power, heat, or any sort of reliable internet for me. It’s pretty synonymous across a majority of Texas. On top of that, I live in a square mile of only college students. You can kind of picture how this week went.
It all started on Valentine’s day. It’s 7:00 PM, and I’m trying to scrap together any food I can buy for a make-shift Valentines dinner. The issue was, every spot I went to resembled a post-apocalyptic raided grocery store. I thought everyone was a shitty boyfriend like me getting last-minute ingredients, but little did I know all these people were planning for a snowed-in apocalypse.
Sometime around 10:00 pm, powder starts dropping everywhere across campus. I’m talking unprecedented amounts of snow- something Texas hasn’t seen in some 40 years. To most places, 6 inches of snow is nothing. But in Austin, that’s as crazy as a 110-degree heat wave hitting the Northeast all summer. Not a single piece of infrastructure was prepared for anything near the amount of snow dropped.
By 2:00 AM, the powers out, but the vibes around campus were crazy. People were scattered across the streets- building snowmen, shotgunning at the UT Tower, sledding through the Presidential garden- it was utter mayhem.
The fun kept going through Monday. All-day, you could find the entire student population walking around campus, drinking like there was no tomorrow, and acting like it was the first time they’ve seen snow (for a lot of us, it was). Anyone who had a truck with 4 wheel drive was out towing people snowboarding, skiing, or sledding (anything you could use was fair game). Personally, this had to be one of the most electric days of my life. Keep in mind, this whole time, barley anyone has power, electricity, or internet.
Whether it was the inevitable campus-wide hangover or the realization that our city was called into a national state of emergency, Tuesday came, and the vibe was checked. Imagine running full speed at a brick wall and then getting hit by an 18-wheeler- that type of check. No one was partying. Everyone was in full panic mode. Grocery stores all in a 5-mile radius had 4-hour waits, most of the restaurants were closed, and the open ones had massive lines- it seemed like World War 3. I had to fight someone over a pack of ramen. Seriously.
If things couldn’t get worse, on Wednesday, the city got hit with a boil water notice. So now, those few who had running water were no longer able to drink it. I’ve been drinking vodka coconut waters for the past 48 hours because I remember reading once that they’re hydrating.
Being in these trenches has been pretty tough, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have some solid people in my life helping me make it through the week with showers, water to drink, and food. Unfortunately, not everyone in Texas is making it out like this. If you’re in the position to help, feel free to check out some of the links below. I know I’ve been pretty light-hearted on the situation, but in all seriousness, there are a ton of people out there right now that could use any help they can get.
- Connor Laird (CEO of it being cold, shredding the gnar guy, writing this in my car guy)