We all know that this past year and even the beginning of the new year has had many twists and turns. A new deadly virus, a new president, protests and riots, and the death of many important public figures. However, the one thing that seemed to fall short was the weather. The United States saw a rather calm winter, with not much snow, ice, or low temperatures. That was until mid-February when the United States experienced an abrupt weather change.
It seemed as if we tried to fit a whole winter into one month; a very large and extremely cold air mass that originated in Siberia swept across nearly all of the US. On top of that, the US also experienced a polar vortex, which is bottled up air pressure from the North and South pole. Eventually, the pressure bursts and pushes the cold air to other parts of the world; the United States being one of the many victims. According to CNN, “The coldest air of the season will be diving south, not leaving anyone out. Every single state in the US — including Hawaii — will reach below freezing temperatures on Monday morning (February 8).” With the United States being vastly different in many ways, a weather pattern lining up for each state is almost unheard of.
For many states, specifically Texas, this severe weather change was alarming, because the state’s infrastructure was not and is not equipped for snow and ice. It seems like Texas has been the headliner in the news during the storms because they have been catastrophic to the state. Just recently, there was an estimated 130 car pileup on an icy Texas highway, that killed 6 and injured many more. There have also been numerous cases of people and animals freezing to death because electricity has gone out all across the grid. Pipes have burst and people are stuck in their houses with no heat, power, or means to contact people.
President Biden declared the state of Texas to be in a major disaster and offered government assistance to the mayors of several Texas cities. In a press conference from the White House, Biden said he “ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms”. The assistance provided includes grants for temporary housing, home repairs, loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help heal the lost and destroyed.
The hope is that the forecast will bring sunshine and melting abilities so that Texas can regroup, repair what’s been broken, mourn what’s been lost, and most importantly, be more prepared in case this were to happen again.
Picture Credit: GETTY