Last Saturday began what would go down in Central Texas History as the most historic winter storm to blow south since the 40s. From falling trees, to frozen pipes, to power outages, to car pileups, to loss of water… the Austin community has battled it all in a zone that is just not built for storms of this magnitude.
Despite the devastating winter storm, the amazing community of Austin came together and showed their true colors. Austin moms sent in their stories of how their neighbors came together.
Kristan :: We are new to our neighborhood and our neighbors have been going into each other’s attics to check for snow that blew into our vents during the blizzard conditions on night 1 of the storm, that has now begun melting and creating leaks into people’s ceilings. I’ve seen such kindness of people posting that they have extra food to share. It’s been such a beautiful show of human kindness.
Dana :: This historic storm has definitely been a test of resilience. While my family was not as severely impacted as some of my neighbors (damaged roofs, leaking ceilings and electrical/lighting fixtures), we definitely had challenges to overcome. All of the manual tasks (shoveling sidewalks, hauling snow, breaking ice, venturing out by foot to neighbors to delivery or pick up supplies) were my responsibility. Although my pre-adolescent son helped where he could, I definitely put my body through physical stress this week. Earlier on in my journey as a single mother, I would’ve folded. While it’s affirming knowing that I’m build stronger nowadays, it’s still hard getting through hard times alone.
Kamisha :: My neighborhood in SW Austin has been great!! Being without electricity and water for days, limited on food and other resources, the camaraderie and how the neighborhood has pulled together to check on each other, share food and water and making sure we all make it out of this snow storm together is something so beautiful and heaven sent!
K :: There are a number of elderly couples on my street and my neighbor next door has been a widow for the past 4 or 5 months. My husband and a few other guys in the neighborhood often went to check on them just to make sure they didn’t need anything. All of them live alone but are use to their families coming by so they were all really appreciative. Our neighbor next door was so thankful that she gave the guys a bottle of water every time they stopped by.
Patrice :: This historic storm the Heart of Texas has truly shown its color! During a time where we have all experienced a lack of electricity and water, it has been a beautiful picture to see just how much my community has rallied together to help one another. From baby wipes to opening doors to strangers and their families, to sharing gallons of water and sharing fire logs, my community has shown itself to be filled with compassion, empathy, and love. The power of community is still here!
Jaime :: We are truly blessed to be a part of such a great community/neighborhood! Monday we experienced an outage for 6 hours, followed by rolling blackouts until Wednesday night at 6:30. A new family went into labor. They reached out to our community. Thankfully we have several nurses and doctors who were able to come to the family’s aid until EMS arrived. We’ve shared tips on wrapping outside hoses to prevent frozen pipes, tips on running gas fireplaces without electric starters (hello batteries), shared resources on food, done grocery store runs for people nervous on getting out in the snow.
Lauren :: This historic storm has been quite the rollercoaster, instead of focusing on what was falling apart all around me, I started looking at all the good happening around me. I was so thankful for our neighbors. We were blessed to have our power on when our neighbors across the street did not, we offered the to come charge their phones, use our power, warm up, get a hot drink, use our chainsaw for wood, my husband helped turn off water lines. When we lost our water, neighbors brought over some cheer to keep our attitudes positive. The bonding has truly been remarkable!
Becky :: In my apartment complex, people stated cutting down the trees to burn in the fireplaces, neighbors cutting for each other and sharing the rewards… no electric or water in some buildings since Sunday. We moved to a friends home after 24 hours of no heat, and after 4 hours, they then lost power. Their neighbors had an impromptu street meeting and shared food, drinks, propane, kitty litter and terra cotta pots to try the heating hack.
Cheyenne :: One of our neighbors made it his job to deliver items by dragging a wagon full of goods to folks who couldn’t get out safely. We’ve checked in on each other, laughed with each other, shared our supplies, and shopped for each other. This is what community is all about. This is how we’re called to serve one another. I am so grateful to live in a place where people haven’t forgotten that.
Keita :: My neighborhood in Carmel Creek-Hutto has been nothing short of amazing!! My family and I were out of power for at least 36hrs and we made it work…and also checked in with anyone who may have been in need…and of course sharing any and all resources available as they came in. This has truly been an ‘aha’ moment to never ever take anything or any days for granted! We are blessed and highly favored.
Liz :: Last Saturday afternoon we went over to our friend’s house for a play date, seven days later we are still there. Initially we got stuck due to icy roads. Then we stayed when we learned our house didn’t have power. We stayed longer when we learned we didn’t have water. Fortunately, our friends these amenities and have graciously allowed our family of four to stay with their family of four. A few times, our husbands braved the icy roads to collect supplies from our house and whatever stores they could find open. It’s been loud with four kids under six trapped (mostly) indoors for a week. There have been a few stress-related spats between couples. We clean up one mess, just to stumble on to another. But, honestly, we have had a lot of laughs, the kids have enjoyed being with their besties and I am overwhelmed with gratitude toward our amazing friends.
We are sending warm wishes to the community of Austin! Please share your experiences in the comments below of kindness that this storm has brought to your neighborhood!
And if you need help, please comment and hopefully we can all continue to help each other. We also have city wide resources for help as well!