When we first started to see the effects of the winter storm that hit Texas, we were concerned but we never thought that it would be as bad as it eventually became. On the night of Feb. 13, ice formed on the front deck, making it virtually impossible to walk on. By the following day, snow had started to fall in both San Antonio and Somerset. Being a lifelong resident of San Antonio, I had never really seen snow. We have had some snow in the past, but not enough to coat the streets. From Feb. 14-15 Bexar County experienced a range of 2 to 6 inches of snow – depending on which part of town you were in.
I live with my family in Somerset but I also have family in San Antonio. My grandparents live on the Southside not too far from Texas A&M University-San Antonio. My sister Mandy Cossey lives in the Windcrest area and my youngest sister Marlena Mendoza was stuck on the Southeast Side unable to get home because the roads were closed.
It was nice to see legitimate snow for the first time. I probably had the same look on my face as my 3-year-old nephew when he made his first snowman. The family canines also enjoyed the change of weather. Scarlett, a German Shepherd, gleefully ran through the snow with her tail wagging so wildly it was whipping up the snow. Naruto, an Alaskan Malamute Husky mix, contrary to his ancestry, was more fixated on eating the snow than playing in it.
These happy memories were the only bright side to our week because by Feb. 15 we went without power, heat and running water. The house was as cold or maybe felt even a little colder than what it was outside. I am not ashamed to admit I wore multiple layers of clothing including a hoodie, sweater, gloves and a beanie to sleep because I was freezing. We put every blanket we owned on our beds and made sure our cats and canines had warm spots to sleep. All we could really do was sit and wait in the cold dark until the lights turned back on. We had no other light sources except for handheld flashlights and our phones.
My sister Mandy lost power on Feb. 16 and had to huddle in one room with my brother-in-law Billy and nephews 3-year-old Nicklaus and 4-month-old Alaric. Luckily, they were able to stay with a friend who still had power. My sister Marlena lost power on Feb. 15 when we did. My grandparents lost power about a day after. Ironically, my family had talked about buying a portable generator about a month ago but changed their minds because they thought we probably would not need it anytime soon.
Texans across the state had mixed experiences. Some people lost power or water for a couple of days, while others kept their power and water. All in all, at my house we were without power for 72 hours, without running water for six days and without heat for seven days. Thankfully by Friday Feb. 19, it started to warm up. We were at least rid of the cold. As bad of a situation as it was, I know my family was lucky. We are very close and we were lucky to have a good support system in each other. We were able to get each other the help we needed. I hope our state can learn from this storm so we are better prepared for the next time we face severe weather.