HometownMcLennan County


Arctic blast, one year later... continuing to pick up the pieces

Posted at 7:53 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 20:53:19-05

WACO, TX — This time last year we were right in the middle of a historic weather event. Based on a survey by the University of Houston, nearly 69 percent of Texans lost power at some point during the storm. The federal reserve bank of Dallas said the overall cost was between 80 and 130 billion dollars.

Inside the walls of the St. Jerome Catholic Church, there's a feeling of peace. Bright lights reflect off the ivory walls. Carl London with the church said a year ago, this peace was replaced with a feeling of chaos.

"Everything in the sanctuary was lost, the carpet, the wood, the pews were so watered up they had to be destroyed," London said.

The loss of power state-wide caused pipes to burst and flooded the house of worship. London and the rest of his congregation fighting to keep the faith.

"There's still that one thing that did we do everything that we needed to," London said.

As the ice melted away, it revealed the devastation.

"The initial damage was around 600 thousand dollars," London said.

The feeling of not knowing, like the water through the wall, seeped back in early February. Falling temperatures and fears over another grid failure leave London with a choice.

Ryan Dirker with McLennan County Emergency Management said, after a year of rebuilding, the city has taken steps.

"Several million dollars have been allocated for all sorts of projects to winterize critical equipment to make sure there are generators are water facilities," Dirker said. "I'm confident in saying it can't be 100 percent prevented, but we will do everything we can to make sure people won't suffer like that ever again."