WORTHAM, TX — Every day, more Texas towns are recovering from the 2021 winter storm.
Many had to wait longer for water than power due to the older design of some water systems. But people in Texas pulled together across county lines and city limits to get their recovery started.
Lynn Toch and her husband had to shut down the family donut shop in Wortham due to the storm.
”It’s been bad, real bad. We had to close our shop,” she said.
Even after the thaw, you can tell the freeze hit the town of Wortham hard.
The weight of the ice brought down heavy tree limbs all over town. The town lost power and water, forced to sit through an extra long wait for that water to return.
”Because we don't have our own water system, we're piggybacked into Mexia, which their from Limestone, and so until they were up and running, they couldn't push water to the other wholesale customers,” explained Wortham Mayor Pellie Goolsby.
For days, the town lived off bottled water donations from Walmart, H-E-B, and others.
"Richard Duncan, the county judge in Mexia, was kind enough to send a truck our way. We got 19 pallets this morning through HEB,” said Goolsby.
A truckload from Walmart came that same evening, unloaded by neighbors and workers from Tim Rainey's roofing company.
”Sometimes you just do this stuff without thinking about it," said Limestone County Judge Richard Duncan.
He says in times of disaster, Texas should know there's no county lines.
”You kinda forgot about lines, whether it be county or city of what have you. We knew they're families that needed help. There were children that needed bathed. There were folks that needed just regular drinking water, any kind of water we could get to 'em," he said.
As the ice melted and water started trickling back, cities like Wortham worked to prevent wasting it.
Wortham is trying to avoid problems seen in other cities. City crews are making sure there's no flooding happening in a home before they turn the water back on.
Officials say this is saving the small town from a Texas-sized problem.
Wortham's mayor says when times get tough and things look dark, Texans take care of Texans.
”I can say that in my town, my guys went to work. The people in this community went to work and made things happen and took care of each other, which I think is the best part of a disaster. You find out, you know, what people need to take care of each other, and that part's been extremely successful, and I don't think that could have gone any better," said Goolsby.
In the meantime, Lynn Toch and her husband brought water from home to do what little business they could until the faucets filled again.
”How are we getting by? We live in Teague, we have water in Teague. We bring the... oh my husband took it out, we have a big bucket,” she said with a laugh.
While the storm may have pointed out problems with water and power, it showcased how Texans come together in tough times.