Today it is a beautiful day, 70’s and sunshine. Two weeks ago we had a Devastating Winter Storm come through. The Polar Vortex swooped all the way down to Mexico encompassing the whole US and all of Texas. This hasn’t happened since the 1980’s. The temp fell to the low 20’s at night and only raised to 30’s and 40’s during the day. This freeze continued for almost a week. People started to panic shop again. The grocery store shelfs were empty in no time. The freezing rain started, and people don’t know how to drive. The weathermen told everyone to stay home, and announced the warming centers. Schools, business and events were canceled. Just when you thought you’d seen and experienced it all…..The Craziness began again….
Then the electricity started going out across all of Texas including the Valley. People started sleeping in their cars cause that was all the heat the had. Lines at the Gas Stations were blocks long. A few people died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning in their garage. The Texas Power Company, ERCOT, which I found out is owned by Texas, started declaring rolling black outs. The news reported later we were a minute or two away from a total devastating power collapse or black out. Next devastating thing that happened was water pipes started breaking. People had no water. Pipes are not wrapped and insulated like up north. Even hospitals were in trouble. It was reported one was melting snow for water to flush toilets. Mid week their were over 3.5 million people without electric across Texas, many for 4-5 days. Homes, business and Utilities are not constructed like they are in the North. Apparently the Power Company’s don’t build their Power Grids efficiently either.
So how were we all in the Park. Actually we were very lucky. I kept waiting for the rolling blackout that never happened. We had electric the whole time. We were warm but Rvers weren’t as warm. Many Rvers heat with Propane. Usually the Propane truck comes around several times a week, but not this week. Everyone was running out and franticly taking their tanks into get filled. One place had no electric, and the other had lines several blocks long. Fortunately their tanker truck came, in a timely manner to refuel their underground tanks. Many were afraid their water pipes would freeze so we all kept our faucets trickling through the night. We had a few breaks in the park, but again we were lucky. A few of our RV Pvc water hook ups broke as they became so brittle. Maintenance was pretty good at staying on top of it. I still went up to the office everyday and huddled in front of my electric heater. We didn’t have any snow, only freezing rain. But not that far north they did have snow. Lots of snow and people who don’t know how to drive in it. Obviously many accidents.
Everyone was covering up their plants to try to keep them insulated and dry from the sleety rain. But, to no avail, we had a lot of devastation. We covered some of our plants in the front of the park with tablecloths, and I covered some of mine. I put my Desert Rose in the She-Shed along with my Asparagus Ferns. We lost some plants in the front entrance but actually they did better than we thought. My Asparagus Ferns were fine, but my Desert Rose in the shed even froze. The plant experts say to water now and wait several weeks to see if the roots made it. I see many of mine now starting to sprout new growth. It might not be so bad. Theirs a lot of plants and trees in the park and around town that have died. Unfortunately the Citrus trees and the Vegetable crops have been hit hard. They say it will take years for the trees to come back. They have lost most of the vegetables for this season.
So now several weeks later, ERCOT is in trouble. The top 2 directors have been fired, and an investigation is ongoing. The grocery stores took awhile before their trucks delivered for restocking, but its now almost complete. They said their was more hording this time compared to the onset of Covid. Many people are still having water problems and bursting pipes have caused much damage in some homes. Some people are reporting huge electric bills for that time. We are locked in to a plan so we are fine. All across the state the motels were full as people had no heat at home. Then the price gouging began. One report said a family was charge almost $500 for a single night. Their are investigations into price gouging as this is unacceptable for people who are suffering all these hardships, especially during a Covid time also. Govenor Abbott has declared Texas a State of Emergency, it should help some of the people receive the help they need to recover. So many have damaged homes from the water breaks and lost food and other items due to no electric.
So this was my flower garden before the freeze. Everything was lush green. Even in winter most everything stays green except for a few trees.
So what is the State of the World today.….Their are now 3 different Vaccines out. Two of them are 2 doses and one is a 1 dose. Everyone is scrambling to get them. Rich has his first dose. I don’t want one….At least not yet. Covid cases count is going down but theirs’s still many. But now we have a new strain that is a Variant of the old one traveling around the world and US. Texas Governor Abbott has just declared as of next Wed., masks are not required and all businesses can open at 100 per cent. Many people are not happy about that. They say its to soon in the Valley. Our hospitals have just reached a lower more acceptable occupancy. The borders are now starting to bring the immigrates over who lived for a year or two in encampments across the border in Matamoros. They had started the court process and were waiting their day in court. They are coming over, but not tested and turning up Covid Positive. Some have been bussed out to family members across the US. Now Greyhound is requiring a Covid test before they board. Fortunately the Judges for Cameron and Hidalgo County’s have also said they don’t agree with the governor. They are still recommending masks and Social Distancing. South Padre Island is getting ready for Spring Break.….HERE COME THE KIDS…...Everyone is waiting for their Stimulus Check. President Biden has barely got it through Congress. The Democrats and Republicans are still not getting along. Trump is still lurking out their in Maro Largo Florida. He has managed to have been Impeached Twice…….But not convicted…..He says he’s gone, But not forgotten……
Will 2021 Improve?