Snowpocalypse 2021

Submitted by Matt on Wed, 03/10/2021 - 20:29
My neighbor Tom and I trying to make it into HEB

So we had a very interesting week last month. It got colder in Texas than it has been since nearly 1989. We got a few inches of snow and temperatures in the teens in Houston. Austin reached single digits! These unprecedented conditions created a very unique situation.

I had gone snow skiing 3 weeks prior and my gear was still handy so I put it on and went for a stroll early in the morning.

house with snow

empty snow filled streets

The Backyard

The Alley

empty snow filled streets

The entire Texas power grid nearly collapsed as the storm rolled through. In the graph below you can see where demand outstripped supply.


This graph was captured off of the ERCOT website at roughly February 15th at roughly 5 pm. Apparently many of Texas's power plants were unprepared for this storm. Generation capacity went down and demand went up so many homes had their power cut off for several days. We are lucky that the grid did not become completely overloaded. I had power for all but roughly a day and a half which was much better than most people. We invited several people to stay at our house during this time.

On Wednesday we finally lost power as well so I fired up the generator. We have a gas furnace and natural gas generator hookup so all we needed to do was power the HVAC fan to have whole house heat. Again with this we were very lucky.



generator panel hookup

(this is a sub-panel and I turned off the main breaker's connection to the grid. The breaker was cannibalized from the dishwasher and sink disposal)

AT&T gigapower stayed up the entire time so we never lost internet. Still was hard to get any work done this week because of the uncertainty and the house guests we were accommodating.

Water pressure was nonexistent from Tuesday mid-day all the way through Thursday. This was the hardest part to endure. Luckily we had filled our bathtub as the pressure was dropping so we were able to flush our toilets with this water.