This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge.
Up to 15 million Texans remain without heat and electricity as temperatures across the state are well below freezing. Another round of winter weather is battering parts of the state Wednesday morning, as many Texans have been without electricity since Sunday are desperately scrambling to find shelters. Weather-related deaths have already been reported as one of the nation’s wealthiest states can barely supply electricity to its residents. And some of those residents have written to us to share their painful realities…
…my house is now resembling a refugee camp. yeah these are all my friends but crazy cause they all have young kids…
hence i’m escaping the chaos…
what’s insane is that big swathes of population in surrounding areas are without power and *water supply*
… bottled water flying off shelves & stores bout to run out.
… so much for Green New Deal shit… all our turbines and solar don’t work now in freeze, LOL
i live in an area behind a major hospital so i’m thinking that’s why my grid has been up and running this whole time.
The unprecedented polar vortex split, dumping Arctic air down to the Gulf of Mexico, resulted in frozen wellheads that impeded the flow of natural gas to power stations, triggering electric shortages as demand overwhelmed the grid. Considering ERCOT, which manages 90% of the state’s electric load, has a high percentage of electrical generation produced via natural gas, power has yet to be restored to millions of folks.
The cascading effect of blackouts and controlled power outages has resulted in some critical infrastructure such as cellular networks and water treatment plants going offline.
As we attempt to show below, the speed at which one of the nation’s wealthiest states transforms into a third-world country is simply stunning.
Jared Tennant, a drone pilot in central Texas, captured stunning images of how downtown Austin has been lit up during the power grid collapse while surrounding and more impoverished communities on the outskirts of town have had their power cut.
Tennant “showed images of downtown Austin Tuesday night. Municipal buildings, empty office buildings, and even empty parking garages fully lit throughout the night,” said PJ Media.
Office buildings in downtown Austin were lit up during the blackouts.
Austin’s convention center had power while neighborhoods across I-35 were dark.
Downtown offices were lit while tens of thousands of thousands of people in the surrounding community froze.
One reader wrote that central Texas looks like a “refugee situation of sorts,” offering some anecdotal accounts of what he’s seeing on the ground which is nothing short of a disaster in the making.
- Central Texas looking like a refugee situation of sorts… suburbs with power have homes with 10 to 15 or 20 people piled into living rooms with sleeping bags.
- Increasingly whole zip codes are being hit with not just power outage, but water system going down too either thru frozen or electrically damaged processing facilities or key pipes bursting.
- Anyone without power/water (now going on 2 to 3 days) is begging any friends or family in area still with power to take them in.
- Often multiple families are camped out in living rooms of those who still have power.
- Families are dropping off young children in residences & with neighbors that still have heat.
- Basically whole neighborhoods on other side of highway with no power are “moving in” to neighbors’ homes on other side where power still exists.
- I’m getting phone calls from friends and elderly people in the community asking desperately for firewood. People are now running out of firewood and the couple grocery stores actually open for a few hours a day are constantly out.
- People are braving the iced-over roads to go looking for anyone with firewood.
- Any home that still has water is filling up jugs & bathtubs in expectation of water supply cut at any moment.
- The water situation is getting alarming.. especially many elderly now trapped in homes with no heat OR WATER.
- Local stores (the 2 or 3 that actually open) are limiting customers to 2 gallons of water each–it’s flying off the shelves
- Individuals with 4-wheel drive and/or jeeps have been seen picking up stranded strangers on side of road… often people are having to hike miles to an open corner store to raid the shelves for any canned food/or still available items.
- As vehicles get stuck and/or become inoperable due to extreme freeze… people have been seen hiking out of suburban neighborhoods to reach “civilization” (or any area still with power and water)
- People are also now living in their work offices and/or teachers bringing their family to school classroom to live if school/office still has power/water.
- In many cases schools or some churches are not yet officially “warming centers”–yet people are basically squatting–entering any public place/room they can find that’s warm.
- For most part there’s almost zero snow plow/de-icing equipment particularly in mid- to small-sized towns and rural areas… last night’s layer of ice storm means many people now trapped in their powerless/waterless homes even if they want to leave for a warming center
- There’s no recourse, no answers… Oncor will not answer calls or give answers for days running. Civic services not responding… also local police departments are angrily demanding answers from the large energy companies
- Growing number of carbon monoxide poisonings in area and the state…people are lighting charcoal grills indoors, also running vehicles in garages
Another Texas resident exclaimed:
So I honestly don’t really know if there’s anyway to mitigate this at all, or if there is any point trying to kick and scream and raise awareness about this since it seems like such an unstoppable avalanche, but with all of the pipes bursting as well as water treatment plants now going offline – next week when this shit thaws out, all of that sewage is going to coat the entire fucking state.
Which is gross, but the worst part of it is that fucking Covid can transmit through sewage, not all that well and it probably needs to be aerosolized, but with apartment buildings and the fact it will be EVERYWHERE and everything else… Texas is about to become a science experiment in herd immunity.
When those pipes start to thaw I bet they’ll be gushing and spurting too – how long is it gonna take to seal everything off, there’s just no way.
I hope I’m wrong, but I think Texas might be on its way to becoming a Third World country.
… and there’s more.
Houston Chronicle’s Brett Coomer reports dozens of people lined up to fill their propane tanks – many of whom have been without power for days.
More Texans are standing in freezing weather waiting for propane fillups.
People are running out of food. Huge lines were seen at a grocery store in Houston’s suburb on Wednesday.
More people are starving in Texas; a drone captures a massive line at another grocery store.
line up at a grocery store in texas pic.twitter.com/FSFdQ8B01E
— blank (@your2ndgirl) February 17, 2021
Lines at gas stations.
“The line to get into HEB an hour before they open. I expect it to wrap around the building within the hour. Why? No power and most stores are closed. Why? Texas insulated and privatized the grid and failed to winterize it. Time to expropriate. It starts here!,” one Twitter user said.
As predicted. pic.twitter.com/5hE3Qj7NSW
— ? The real @pfunk1978 ? (@pfunk1978) February 17, 2021
Users are reporting grocery stores are now placing limits on food to avoid shortages.
“This is the line outside to get to the lines inside the only grocery store our roads are safe to get to in Canyon Lake Texas. We have been out of power and water since last Sunday it is now Wednesday. Friends brought us firewood. It’s 26 degrees outside,” another Twitter user said.
… and while people rush to stores for propane and food, others are facing some grim realities at home with busted pipes.
Dallas resident records ice frozen fan.
THIS IS WILD! ?? A resident in Dallas, Texas shared this photo after pipes burst in his apartment. Temperatures reached -2° Tuesday morning. Thousands of Texans don't have power, heat, water or food. ?: @ThomasBlackGG pic.twitter.com/uoCALV4czt
— News4JAX (@wjxt4) February 17, 2021
More busted pipes – some homes in Texas are not winterized.
The Hilton hotel in downtown Forth Worth is flooded after pipes broke.
Water gushing from an apartment deck.
“Burst pipe has been running for 9 hours at an apartment in Austin,” said one user.
Burst pipe has been running for 9 hours at apartment in Austin, TX pic.twitter.com/RBd3Z1gM6y
— blank (@your2ndgirl) February 17, 2021
This certainly doesn’t look good.
Homes across Texas have been devastated by bursting pipes all day.
*This story is developing as the power grid collapse morphs into a humanitarian crisis that is far from over.
This great article illustrates my emphasis on RATIONAL THOUGHT, CONTEXT, & PHYSICAL SCIENCE. In the space industry we worked with the laws of physics. Wishes, wants, our imaginations, & the rest were mostly irrelevant. We tried to use the historic advances & discoveries of humanity to our advantage. Too many imbeciles of today want to throw out the wisdom of the past. Check out the reasons for pipelines for long-distance delivery below.
The Keystone pipeline upon completion could carry more than 800,000 barrels or 33.6 million gallons of oil through the pipeline per day. With no harmful emissions. A Barrel of Oil is 42 gallons, not to be confused with a Drum which is 55 gallons. Because a gallon of oil weighs between 7.5 and 7.8 lbs per gallon, most trucks can only carry 130 barrels of oil at a time without violating our department of transportation laws of 80,000 lbs. on our roadways. That’s truck and cargo weight. It would take 6,154 more trucks going just from Canada to the Gulf Coast for that same oil and that’s every single day. Now a rail car holds approx. 30,000 gallons or 700 barrels. It would take trains every day pulling 1,143 more rail cars per day. just pulling the oil from that pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Trains and Trucks emitting more emissions and burning more fuel which would be eliminated by the pipeline. So when they tell you this is about the environment,
When you have no power and can not heat your house, turn off the water supply and drain your pipes and water heater as soon as possible.
Because when people are dying, it’s important to keep the power on in every single level of the empty parking garage.
“We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.”
It’s just as much the peoples fault as their leaders though. Failure to be self sufficient always results in dependency. They still trust bureaucrats, despite their overwhelming on time and predictable track record of complete incompetency.
How hard is it really to have some self restraint and dedication. It only takes a few additional shopping trips to hedge purchase more than you need. Even if not actually necessary it’s a smart financial strategy which leaves you with more flex cash in fun months, and more reserve stock and equipment just in case. If nothing happens, the worst thing that will happen to you is you’ll spend more on supplies in the winter, and less on them in the summer. Who waits until it’s trouble time to try and go shopping? Shopping sucks so sensible people just try to shop as little as possible, and acquire as much as possible when shopping. When we go to Costco, shopping goals is a complete rolling pallet cart, est $500-$700 cost. At grocery, mix it up, $150-$300 cost. End up only going to costco a few times a year and grocery just for fresh and beer. I go shopping in my basement and just eat the same rotating set of affordable healthy organic staple foods, fresh steak on the side.
We’ve got toilet paper from the floor to ceiling in the basement. Fool me once… We keep a few dozen or so free standing 5g jugs. We just buy the big ones for drinking and never return the deposit, just let them sit there. A big bag of rice is still 15 bucks at costco, canned goods are cheap there too.
Take a dang clay pot or some ceramics, stack it up slightly, put a candle below. Space heater. Melt some ice. Should have bought the eco stove. Should have bought one of those high end efficient wood stove inserts to retrofit the fireplace, those can capture almost all heat and cause single tiny logs to last for days. It’s not rocket science. Next time think about ponying up for studded tires or at least buy a few removable tire cables. They’re easy to use and fun to drive with.
On my menu next, a legitimate self contained solar system with inverter. Those nifty kinds they sell all in one for like 3 to 5 thousand, just a little rolling cart of batteries, a quality inverter, a few panels. Hook red to red, black to black, plug in what you need. Easy. Integrated on the grid solar is for the birds and entirely more complicated than stand alone systems.
Certainly if it makes you feel more comfortable, or for whatever reason, PtL you are free to put as many candles under ceramic pots as you want to, but I think candles are better used for their light giving properties, not heat.
The average candle produces somewhere between 75 – 100 Watts. A Watt is the equivalent of about 3.4 BTU/hr.
On the high end, our candle is putting out about 350 BTU/hr. This is roughly equivalent to one adult human being at rest.
So adding one person to your circle when it is cold is the equivalent of one candle under a ceramic pot.
I have to believe in over-development, because the buildings and grids were not engineered for conditions in annual weather data.
Their petty and incompetent inspection regime failed to produce enough food and fuel, for local appetites, and could not arrive at a version of shelter to suit local conditions.
all the smart people that were checking out the PG&E power shutdowns in Cali. last summer …were saying you know what…
maybe I should prepare for a grid down…in case that $hit ever happens in my neck of the woods.
two is one …one is none
Your public servants come to your houses, to tell you how to build and what you must pay them.
Yet again, a grid wasn’t built to sustain local demand and yearly weather.
In my blue state, the money pays for an extravagant vehicle, lifestyle, and severance package.
A landscapnig engineer is legally required to tell you which shrubs go in your front yard and where.
The power goes out, if the wind blows.
I everywhere I have lived as a adult has been declared a disaster area. Not by my action, but by riots, earthquakes, blizzards, typhoons, droughts, volcanoes, flooding, windstorms, and tsunamis. I have developed a “system” to be prepared. It costs money for something that may never occur( AKA insurance), but when it hits, my family and I will survive.
My number one rule is that the biggest threat we all face is our governments and the people that support it.
Number two is Mother nature.
I have based my preparations upon those two rules.
Prior to the SHTFplan “purge” of commenters there used to be a lot of good info shared here, and if you know what to search for in the archives it may still be here, so I won’t repeat preparations plans and techniques.
I’ll just repeat my two rules.
“My number one rule is that the biggest threat we all face is our governments and the people that support it. Number two is Mother nature.”
Government murdered mother nature years ago with chronic geoengineering (geoengineeringwatch.org). So, your first listed threat (governments and supporters) is the only real remaining threat to humanity.
Living just North of the Houston metroplex- there’s a lot of finger pointing going on. The fingers should be pointing towards themselves in most cases. Yes, the power has been off. Yes, the water has been cut in some places. Yes, the grocery stores and gas stations have been cleaned out. Yes, you can’t find firewood. But everyone in South Texas knew this was coming for a week. Nobody should have been without potable water or shelf stable food at the very least. Nobody should have had to be in a mile long line at HEB for baby formula or coffee. Everybody should know where their water cutoff is located. People down here should have a generator just because of hurricanes. The campers who have low temperature rated sleeping bags and mylar blankets are ahead of the game. My daughter cooked on her Coleman camp stove for 2 days. Tailgaters probably did alright the past few days. Folks who are mad about their grocery deliveries not being fulfilled need to get a clue.
As far as we are concerned, there’s water in the Berkey. Chili and dirty rice already made. Power is on, but the generator is ready if needed. Made a dent in the short term pantry but haven’t touched the real supplies.
It’s less of a humanitarian crisis than a stupidity crisis. Normalcy bias will return next week at 70 degrees Farenheit.
This tag “up to 15 million Texans…w/o power…” is a mathematical fabrication I first saw yesterday on Bloomberg News.
Since the crisis started the Power Grid in TX has shed about 26,000 MW. About 200 homes can be supported by 1 MW of generation capacity.
By extension that gives us about 5.2 million residences without power. If you allow about 3 persons per household then you arrive at about 15 million people suffering. That is roughly HALF the population of the whole State.
Pretty scary stuff, huh ?
Well, not all the loads are residential and not all outages are on-going since the remaining generation capacity is being spread around the system using rolling black outs.
The only wild card here is how much of the distribution equipment is down from broken trees etc.
While I don’t know the current actual number of Texans without power, the BNS story is max on sensationalism and shows how you can use actual data and manipulate it for your purposes.
Since I am living through this one-in-a-100 year event, I can say some of this is true, but some is the media hype trying like they always do, to stir things up between the “elite” and the “poor” people. It is NOT true that the rich area’s in Austin were all cozy and warm while the east side was shut down. Although large office buildings and plants still had power, they were called out early into this mess and subsequently shut down. Most homes have no power, no water or both. The stores were packed before this storm hit, but I think a lot of people can’t afford to stock up for an extended period of time and this storm has lasted much longer than anybody anticipated. The store shelves are bare. Deliveries started off slow , but now are non-existent.
Our homes are not designed with cold weather in mind. (One morning it was -3*) Our water heaters and furnaces are usually in our garages or attics. Our houses are on concrete slabs. Plumbing is vulnerable and will be expensive to repair.
Our soil has natural limestone all in it, so our trees have a shallow root system and are falling over from the weight of the ice. It has iced, then snowed, then iced again two times, snowed again and hopefully we are facing our last ice storm tonight.
I don’t know of anyone who owns snow tires or chains. The cities don’t own snow plows and we only have sand trucks and have no de-icing trucks.
Our fireplaces are decorative and no one has a wood stove or pellet stove for heat.
Like any true southerner, I can withstand triple digit temps for extended periods of time, but 5* to me feels like -50* as my body is not acclimated to the Alaska-like tempatures!
We are living in an event we will most likely never see again in our lifetime here. I have not stood in one line. My preps have served me well…once again. If i could also just say this- Texan’s have offered refuge and rendered aid to others in dire need during natural disasters and we hope you keep us in your prayers and we honestly appreciate anyone who has come in from other states to help us. God Bless Texas!
The polar vortex in Texas is not “unprecedented” It happened in 2011, and seems to about every ten years.
Intense Cold Waveof February 2011
Mike Hardiman, Forecaster,National Weather Service El Paso, TX / Santa Teresa, NM
On Tuesday, February 1st, 2011, an intense arctic air mass moved into southern New Mexico and Far West Texas, while an upper-level trough moved in from the north. The system brought locally heavy snowfall to portions of the area on the night of Feb 1stand into the afternoon of the 2nd,and was followed by several days of sub-freezing temperatures.Temperatures in El Paso rose no higher than the upper 10s (°F) on February 2ndand 3rd. The prolonged cold weather caused widespread failures of infrastructure. Water and Gas utilities suffered from broken pipes and mains, with water leaks flooding several homes. At El Paso Electric, all eight primary power generators failed due to freezing conditions. While energy was brought into the area from elsewhere on the grid, rolling blackouts were implemented during peak electric use hours. Even as temperatures warmed up, water shortages continued to affect the El Paso and Sunland Park areas, as failed pumps caused reservoirs to quickly dry up. – weather dot gov
The polar vortex was ‘Predictable”.
Sorry, but you are wrong. This is absolutely unprecedented. A polar vortex happening in one region in Texas is quite different than the ENTIRE state suffering from the same frigid temps. I have lived here for a very long time and I have never seen this happen. I have born and raised Texan’s as friends who have never seen this. I think whats important to focus on at this point is the aging and vulnerable power grid, not only in Texas but throughout the United States. I am reading today that our grid was minutes away from complete failure that would have taken months to repair, all while we would have had to rationed power for months. As it stands we still have a long and hard battle ahead of us as we begin to thaw and repair all the damaged plumbing.
As a prepper, the grid down disaster has always been my focus. I have survived far better than many, but also see where I can make improvements.
Corners were cut, in new houses, hurriedly made out of trash materials, by unskilled labor.
People will get mad if I scratch the surface of financialization, but it’s basically a worthless placeholder or gamepiece for speculative purposes.