We were near our hometown of Brenham, Texas when we heard that a freeze was coming.
We have below freezing temperatures in Texas about one day a year, if that, typically. So, we didn’t think much of the coming freeze. Being married to a plumber, we knew to drip our water faucets. “It’d be over in a day and that would be that,” we thought.
A few days prior to the freeze, we looked at our weather apps and saw a forecast quite unusual for Texas. It was supposed to be below freezing for multiple days.
Below freezing in Texas usually means a temperature of 31 degrees, at lowest 28 degrees. The forecast showed a 6 degree prediction.
At that point, we realized our RV pipes might not survive the freeze unless we completely drained them down. So, we made the decision to drain our RV tanks and pipes and make the three hour drive to Lolli and Pop’s.
We were a bit late leaving. We would have left the day before if we didn’t have a family wedding to attend. Ryan had to scrape ice off of our RV slides with a pocket knife just so we could get them to retract. The roads were already icy, and Brenham looked like a ghost town as we drove through it. We drove 40 mph max the first hour of the trip. After that, we hit a little bit warmer temps and the roads weren’t bad.
We had called around looking for propane so we could fill up our RV tanks before we left. There was no propane to be found anywhere within that three hour range. Fortunately, our brother-in-law let us use his extra propane tanks. We were hoping not to have to empty the RV of all fluids – soaps, lotions, laundry detergent, drinks and all the things we may not find or remember.
We arrived safely at my parents’ house and plugged our RV in so that we could run our electric fireplace along with our gas heater. We bombarded my parents’ house with our bodies and many of our things.
We went to sleep in a warm house, and we woke up to the most snow we’ve ever seen in Texas! It was exciting!
We walked around outside, took lots of pictures and played. It was so much colder than we’d ever experienced in Texas, though! It was hard to stay outside for very long. Texans aren’t very prepared when it comes to winter or snow clothes. A simple hoodie or cardigan usually suffices for a Texas winter.
We enjoyed the day looking at and playing in the snow!
But then, we started hearing and seeing that this freeze was getting bad for people all around us. People were losing power. Their houses were freezing. Many of their water pipes were freezing and busting because dripping water when you have no heat inside your house doesn’t work well. I started getting a slew of messages with plumbing questions for Ryan. He did his best to help people know what to do from afar. The roads were bad for driving. We definitely weren’t prepared for this type of freeze in Texas! No one would have known or felt a need to be prepared. It was just something we’d never experienced!
Thankfully, we were close to the Louisiana border. We briefly lost power once. My parents have a generator because they’ve lived through hurricanes and lost power for two weeks before. But we sure felt bad for our friends, family and all those without power and/or water!
Ryan spent the next two weeks back in our hometown repairing busted pipes. The calls for repairs needed were endless.
I am so thankful we decided to go to my parents’ house to ride out the Texas freeze!
Our RV even survived with no broken or busted pipes. And the propane barely lasted until we were able to get propane again. Maybe we’ll be a little more prepared should we ever live through a Texas freeze again!