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Winter Snowstorm Sweeps Through North Texas

Snowstorm brings record lows not seen in 72 years
Photo courtesy of Sarah Rogers
Seniors Isabel Applewhite, Hilary Hansford, Sarah Rogers and Katie Arnold sit together while watching their friends sled behind a car. Because there was no school for the week, the students made the best of it and spent quality time with friends. “We took the time to get together and spend some time away from technology and school and had some old fashioned fun in the snow,” Arnold said.

Millions of people across the Dallas-Forth Worth metroplex were left without power and water as the region’s largest snowstorm in years covered the state in snow last week, with temperatures staying below freezing for multiple days.

The DFW metroplex averaged 3 to 5 inches of snow and maxed out in Gun Barrel City with 9.5 inches. Temperatures reached record lows, even seeing negative numbers overnight Tuesday. 

Nearly four million people were left without power as temperatures dipped below freezing due to the Texas electric grid being crushed from the demand. The outages were originally planned as rolling blackouts but have lasted far longer in many areas, and it remained unclear when many Texans who had been without electricity for hours would get their power back.

As temperatures stayed below freezing, pipes froze and broke in apartment buildings, homes and buildings across the city. A popular video was featured on Facebook of a house in University Park that was completely flooded due to a busted pipe, covering the floors with a thick layer of water and ruining the floors.

Sophomore Cooper Roberts and his family were affected by the storm, with a few pipe freezes and a frozen-over pool.

“It was a little scary driving on the roads, and while we were eating at a restaurant on Tuesday, the power went out and sent everyone into a small panic,” Roberts said. 

On Feb. 17, the city of University Park was placed under a boil water notice, requiring all tap water to be brought to a complete boil before being used for drinking and cooking as the water levels were depleted in the city. The boil water notice was lifted six days later as water levels returned to normal. 

Schools across the state were closed the entire week due to the icy roads preventing in-person learning and the major power outages preventing virtual learning. 

“As we had no school the entire week, we looked towards the best of it, and my dad and I decided to work on our frozen-over pool, and although it might have been a little terrifying for many people, we enjoyed playing with it and having fun with it,” sophomore Greer Manley said. 

Other students found ways to enjoy the weather too.

“We took out a garbage can lid, tied it to a rope and hooked it to the car, and then we just had fun and slid around in an open street,” sophomore Vinny Teffaha said. “The snowstorm brought the inner child out of people.”

On Feb. 19, President Joe Biden signed a major disaster declaration for 77 Texas counties that were harmed by the storm, including much of the DFW area, so people may apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency benefits.

The community came together to help one another with power loss and damages that residents suffered, and the break in the cold weather has allowed North Texans to begin assessing damage from the storm.