Winter Storm Uri Community Feedback

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The Winter Storm Review Task Force wants to hear from the community and organizational representatives about your experiences during and in the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri. This webpage is dedicated to capture your unique stories submitted through written testimony, video footage, and pictures.

Please use the tools on the tabs below to share your story. You may also email your feedback to community@austintexas.gov by June 30, 2021.

Additionally, the Task Force will hold virtual listening sessions for public testimony. A report summarizing the stories captured on this webpage and during the listening sessions will be submitted to City Council by July 30, 2021, and the collage of stories received will be archived at the Austin History Center.



English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文 (简体) | 中文 (繁體) | 한국어 | မြန်မာဘာသာ | اُردُو‎‎ | العربية



The Winter Storm Review Task Force wants to hear from the community and organizational representatives about your experiences during and in the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri. This webpage is dedicated to capture your unique stories submitted through written testimony, video footage, and pictures.

Please use the tools on the tabs below to share your story. You may also email your feedback to community@austintexas.gov by June 30, 2021.

Additionally, the Task Force will hold virtual listening sessions for public testimony. A report summarizing the stories captured on this webpage and during the listening sessions will be submitted to City Council by July 30, 2021, and the collage of stories received will be archived at the Austin History Center.

Your Story

Please share stories from your experiences and observations during Winter Storm Uri and the aftermath. Everyone can see and comment on your post.  All submissions will be archived at the Austin History Center. Thank you.  

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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    Rebecca Matthews

    by Gardener652@2!, 5 days ago
    I literally thought I was going to freeze to death. No power for four days!!! Then the day I got power I lost water for two days. Lost all my food in the refrigerator and costs $100s to replace it and the city let it happen!! The city allowed ercot to turn off electricity to residents for days!!! Shane on you. And then did nothing to compensate for all the loss.
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    Preparing to survive extreme events - sensibly

    by CNWHOO, 18 days ago

    I want to address a glaring statewide infrastructure issue that made everyone’s situation more dangerous than necessary. Even though I lost power, we had taken precautions, filling up our home propane tank just a week or so before URI. So, we had heat and suffered no tragic loss during or after URI. However, my friends around the state suffered greatly due to this state's poor energy and infrastructure integrity policies and practices.

    Many of my friends received no natural gas supply for heat due to being cut off from remote supply sources. Since they also lost power, they experienced... Continue reading

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    Perspectives and Recommendations from the Austin Apartment Association

    by Paul Cauduro, about 1 month ago

    Comments from the Austin Apartment Association to the City of Austin Winter Storm Task Force

    Winter Storm Task Force Meeting – June 23, 2021


    Summary

    The Austin Apartment Association (AAA) was founded in 1964 and is composed of more than 1,000 diverse businesses that own, manage and service more than 275,000 rental homes in the Greater Austin area and 10 surrounding counties. The City Council created the Winter Storm Review Task Force under section 2-1-2(E) of the City Code for the purpose of holding open public listening sessions during which individuals and organizational representatives can share information, experiences, and recommendations... Continue reading

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    Isolated Seniors in Despair

    by lenorelane, about 1 month ago

    I have worked in human services for almost 20 years and this storm was one of the most traumatizing events of my career, and believe me, I have seen A LOT. I have worked in some very gritty sectors of social service and have some pretty tough skin. But, when you hear voice after voice of really old people over the phone, isolated in their homes TERRIFIED because they may die without water in THIS country...it will unnerve the strongest of us.


    I'm the Executive Director of Drive a Senior-Austin, TX, we provide free transportation service to homebound, isolated seniors... Continue reading

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    I was lucky, our government failed

    by lwilliams8d, about 2 months ago

    I moved to Austin, arriving the day before the first snowfall. I'll always remember two things about the main storm.

    The first is Austin Energy's communication style. They chose to communicate primarily through Twitter, which was increasingly hard to get to without power to charge a mobile device. They chose to say it'd be "rolling blackouts," and then revealed that they technically couldn't roll them. Yet, all of them are still employed.

    The second thing I'll remember is Mayor Adler. I was laying under 3 blankets, wondering how we'd be able to get food (just moved, didn't have much time... Continue reading

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    "Silence of the Landlords" by the 9500 Tenants Association

    by 9500TA, about 2 months ago


    In the wake of Winter Storm Uri, many of the residents were without water for close to 4 weeks. Many of us went to the 9500 Apartments office that Monday, February 22, 2021 for answers. Our concerns went unanswered, with non-answers to our in-person questions, unanswered emails, no response to certified letters, no returned phone calls to messages left on voicemail, and a disconnected business line. Here are their accounts:


    (You can see the full accounts with pictures here)

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    Aquarium Trade

    by Paul.Moore, about 2 months ago

    I lost thousands of dollars in coral and fish. Not just myself but, thousands of Austinites slowly watched our coral reefs melt and poison our fish. I had no power for 4 days. I had just split several Rose Bubble Tip Anemones and lost them all. My small business is ruined economically and I won't recover from this.

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    Bedridden friends

    by pvanbavel, about 2 months ago
    We had two friends who were bedridden during the storm. One was chronically stuck in bed and we knew about her. the other we knew was ill but she became unable to care for herself during the storm.

    The first lady, we got to her after a day of no power by chainsawing fallen trees off of the driveway and driving three blocks to deliver food and water. Her normal caregivers were unable to travel. On a good note there-- we called 911 and police and firemen did wellness checks. She did OK.

    The second lady had a recent cancer... Continue reading

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    Storm Poetry

    by marksmolen, 2 months ago

    I am part of an Austin poetry group and several of us wrote poems related to the storm and its aftermath. Here is mine:


    Innocence Lost


    They said:

    “Reduce your power consumption.”

    As if we could hope to steal

    a Promethean spark

    from the grid gods,

    smug in their unregulated hubris


    They said:

    “Boil your water.”

    As if we could magically

    conjure its unsolid version

    from frozen pipes

    not already broken and emptied


    They said:

    “Trust us.”

    As if a hell-frozen-over-Texas

    could ever inspire such fealty.

    Trust them?

    No, never again.

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    Significant gaps for older adults

    by atemperley, 2 months ago
    At the beginning of the storm, I was contacted by a colleague who said "what is happening in assisted living and retirement sites?" I did not know so I reached out to my network and by the end of the day I had received information on more than 30 sites- senior apartments, assisted living sites and retirement communities who were without water, electricity and in some situations food because their freezers were out or deliveries for food providers could not get through.


    I spent the next week working with my contacts and networks (personal and through the Aging Services Council)... Continue reading

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