February 2021 was pretty cold in north Texas. All these months later, I'm finally taking a minute to write about it.
There were many families who had no power at all, and others who had no water. One day we took all our empty water storage containers and filled them with tap water, just in case. When we heard of people without water, we were able to share. We kept our faucets dripping, and covered the windows with blankets to keep the heat inside. We kept the attic door open (making the upstairs even colder) to keep the water heater and pipes from freezing. Our furnace would reset itself each time the power blinked off, so Norm woke up multiple times per night to restart the thermostats.
Let's talk about pools for a minute. By running the pool equipment, the water keeps circulating through the pipes so they don't freeze. Until there's not enough power and it seems like a crime to use the precious electricity to run the power hungry pump. A few days into Snowmageddon we made a difficult decision: drain the expensive equipment and cover it with a tarp, and hope for the best. We tried to break up the ice chunks so we didn't get a solid sheet of ice over the pool. Ultimately, our family was incredibly blessed and we didn't have costly repairs on the pool. (But think of the guy who owns a pool business. Last year most manufacturing shut down due to Covid, then the freeze drives up demand for new equipment and parts. Then there's a chlorine shortage so the cost of chemicals goes way up. What a year.)