To get things started, here’s a clip of local Weather Channel coverage.
Our first big issue: Potential burst pipes. Burst pipes could also lead to the long-term issue of growing unhoused populations, including, of course, families with children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and other particularly vulnerable groups. And, as covered in this great piece over at the Texas Observer, the state has long waged war against the homeless community. Why does this matter now? Because systemic issues make such dire and unexpected weather extra dangerous for an already marginalized population.
One person’s tweet showing a ceiling fan with icicles hanging off it has gotten attention beyond just the obvious component of the image. If you look at the ceiling itself, you can see what appears to be a hanging indent above the fan. Twitter users are speculating that bulge could be from water from, you guessed it, a burst pipe. The fear there, of course, is that the ceiling could burst and flood the area. If electricity came back on while that happened, there’s an additional risk, too.
Speaking of water, this is a terrifying example of what people are worried about potentially happening.
As well as waking up to a scenario where your fire alarm is going off because a pipe burst.
Or what one person identifies as the ceiling of their bedroom.
Or the ceiling of this living room.
Oh, and dangerous? A tweet warning people to please not walk on the snow-covered highways because cars could lose control and hit them has gone viral.
Speaking of going outside, many people are talking about the long, long lines to get into stores for supplies. As one person shared, instead of driving, they walked four miles in the snow to get to HEB, a popular Texas grocery store, and upon arrival, waited in line.
We can’t talk about grocery stores without again stressing that these workers are essential, and, because of that, deserve more money, more benefits, and more job security.
This video of a super long line is truly shocking. And concerning, when we remember that many people in Texas may not have the appropriate cold-weather gear to be standing outside. For the elderly and people with disabilities, too, having to stand in this cold could be additionally dangerous.
The line is so wild, there are reports of a person selling their spot in line.
Including long lines before stores even open.
Many on Twitter are also taking the time to stress that jokes about what’s happening in Texas are far from funny—and that progressives really have no place in mocking people for living in a “red state.” Especially when we remember that Texas is a state particularly plagued by gerrymandering and voter suppression.
And, as we know, these real-life examples of people waiting in long lines, in the cold, without proper resources, is not an example of “socialism” or “communism” gone wrong, but people being failed by a Republican-led state that prioritizes the individual over the community.
And speaking of Republican leadership, Gov. Greg Abbott made time to talk about his state’s current crisis by… condemning the Green New Deal, which, by the way, is not a policy guideline his state follows anyway. Texas relies mostly on fossil fuels.
He also made time to tweet a meme. Too little, too late when people are … literally freezing.
Former Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke also pointed out the clear (and sad) similarity between how the state is handling COVID-19 and the blackouts.
Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro also brought up the important point about monitoring for potential price gouging when it comes to electric bills.