TuHS alumnus experiences Texas storm firsthand

Shea Carlberg, Copy Editor

Like millions of Texans, 2020 TuHS graduate Kaitlyn Gearin, who now attends Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, experienced the unforeseen winter storm firsthand.

Busted pipe water floods the dorms at Southern Methodist University during the destructive Texas winter storm. Photo provided by Kaitlyn Gearin.

“Because of the widespread power outages, SMU ended up cancelling all classes for the week of February 15,” Gearin said. “Luckily we didn’t lose power in the dorms, but we were without WiFi for a little over a day. Additionally, many of my friends who live off-campus experienced power outages that lasted for multiple days.”

As Texas residents were hoping for temperatures to rise, college students confronted their fair share of disconcerting circumstances. Boiling water became a custom for millions of students and families alike as running water ran scarce.

“We had adequate access to food because one of the dining halls stayed open for the week, but there was a campus-wide boil water order from the 17th to the 22nd, so the dining hall and dorms gave out bottled water every day.”

Students living in certain buildings were ordered to relocate due to frozen pipes that broke off and eventually flooded the hallways of dorms.

“On campus, one of the dorms flooded due to bursting pipes, so the students living in the dorm were moved to a hotel,” Gearin said. “Some of the Greek houses also had to evacuate and put up their residents in a hotel for the week.”

Although she saw flooded halls and heard stories of families with water-damaged homes, she was fortunate not to encounter the worst of the deadly storm. 

“I was very lucky to be in SMU’s campus bubble for the duration of the winter storm,” Gearin stated. “I felt secure the whole time, but was feeling for those in the community who were heavily impacted by the situation and in need of help and resources.”