Talk to people around the country when living in San Antonio, and most people will ask how you’re dealing with the sun. However, the sun was the furthest thing from the weather forecasts for much of this winter. Towards the end of April especially, most people were noticeably concerned as TV presenters, and social media statuses kept warning of record-setting storms.
They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and the rain and hail have followed this pattern since the start of the new year. Around Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City, residents were sitting around their kitchen tables nervously waiting for the inevitable… and then it came.
One picture on social media showed a hailstone measuring over half a foot in length to put the hail into perspective. Meanwhile, those who were forced to leave their vehicles outside had to stand by and watch as the hail caused billions of dollars of damage around the state. Homes were being beaten badly by the harsh weather conditions, and those that lived out of state stood by wondering what was happening to their rental properties. Calls increased as rental property owners called property managers to check-in on their vacant properties. Those of you that didn’t have someone local to check on your rental home, need to invest in an experienced realtor for your rental property.
Of course, this wasn’t the first storm in San Antonio this winter, as residents saw inches upon inches of snow back in January and February.
April Hail and Rain
Traditionally, May is the rainiest month for most of Texas, but the rain came early this year, with storms battering much of the state at the end of April. San Antonio was issued a flash flood warning, and a 6.4-inch hailstone weighing 1.26 pounds fell in Hondo. Needless to say…the storm broke records. After meteorologists looked at the hailstone, they didn’t have anything to compare it to of a similar size, so they believe that it’s a record for the area.
After a difficult 2020 with the global pandemic, most residents around Texas were hoping for a much calmer 2021. However, the state was around the corner from a ferocious winter. Although many states were affected, Texas seems to have been hit the hardest with power outages. In the Lone Star state alone, four million people were left in temperatures below zero without any power. Sadly, at least 100 people are thought to have died across the United States because of the harsh winter weather.
In Abilene, three major water treatment plants lost power, which also meant a closed-off water supply. The electric grid was left paralyzed, Texans were left in the cold without power, and CPD Energy and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) struggled to keep their heads above water with all the calls (and anger) that followed.
On February 17th, a boil water notice was sent out to residents in San Antonio from the San Antonio Water System. After warnings of low water pressure, the SWAS said that everybody should boil their water before consuming it as a precaution. Though tap water was safe for bathing and washing hands, the SWAS said that low water pressure was to blame for this precautionary measure.
During this time, relief supplies such as generators were sent to Texas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As well as 60 generators, FEMA sent bottled water, food, blankets, and other supplies.
The Storm in Numbers
With eight consecutive days below 45 degrees, it was the longest cold spell since January 1940. Meanwhile, the state experienced 44 hours below freezing temperatures – the longest on record. The storm also caused the following:
- 13 degrees as the lowest recorded temperature
- 90% of the power grid managed by ERCOT
- Damage of $18 billion
- 500 closed Walmart stores
- 159 of 254 Texas counties reporting issues with public water systems
- Increase of 187% in fires