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Two years later, the 2021 blackout still shapes what it means to live in Texas

The 2021 winter storm left millions of Texans without power in below-freezing temperatures for days.
Mose Buchele
The 2021 winter storm left millions of Texans without power in below-freezing temperatures for days.

Two years ago this week, Texans woke up to something many had never seen before: snow. It was not the annual heavy frost or light dusting. It was honest-to-God snow. A thick blanket of it, inches deep, had covered everything while we slept.
And, for millions, the power was out.

These two facts competed for our attention. For my Texas family, and many others, power outages are more common than snow storms. In this case, it seemed, the state power grid had to conserve electricity because of the storm, and we had been cut off as part of those measures. I figured the lights would return by nightfall.

This story comes to us from KUT in Austin, Texas. Your support of KUTand the NPR Network makes all kinds of local journalism possible. Donate here.

The power did not come back.We spent that first freezing night bundled together in my kids' room.

The next morning, on the drive to the hotel that the station had found for us, the full scope of the crisis started coming into focus.

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Copyright 2023 KUT 90.5

Mose Buchele is the Austin-based broadcast reporter for KUT's NPR partnership StateImpact Texas . He has been on staff at KUT 90.5 since 2009, covering local and state issues. Mose has also worked as a blogger on politics and an education reporter at his hometown paper in Western Massachusetts. He holds masters degrees in Latin American Studies and Journalism from UT Austin.
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