LUBBOCK, Texas — Last week’s extreme cold weather impacted all of us in one way or another – even our Texas Tech students. The entire week brought on a whirlwind of emotions.
Many were initially excited about the snow and cancelled classes, but after a few days of freezing temperatures, dealing with some burst pipes and worrying about family out of town, the reality of the situation set in.
“At first I thought it was cool because I never got snow in my hometown,” said student Jack Moser, originally from Houston. “And then about the second day the WiFi started cutting out so I couldn’t get any school work or homework done.”
Of course, the university worked with students to postpone assignments and cancelled all in-person classes due to the conditions. Still, with exams around the corner, the storm created a major setback for some. More concerns quickly arose as well.
“The scariest part I think was just waiting around like wondering if we were going to lose power if our pipes would have issues,” said student Darcy Dockery.
University housing told students to take precautions to prevent any issues from coming up.
“They put fliers out by every elevator. That’s how I heard about what was going on,” said student Reagan Duffey. “I didn’t even know that there was outages until I saw the little flyers up everywhere. And that was telling us the steps of what to do to prevent any pipes bursting or anything.”
However, like many other Texas homes, some residence halls succumbed to the elements.
“There was power outages and in one of my friend’s dorms the pipes burst and it was just wet all over,” said student Abby Dockery.
University officials tell us they worked to provide temporary housing in other dorm lobbies while they fixed the problems. However, even students living off-campus had issues too.
“[My roommates] forgot to leak the pipes so we didn’t have water for like three days because they forgot to leak the pipes so it was pretty terrible for us,” said student Isaac Olivas.
While most of Lubbock didn’t have extended power outages or lose water as a whole, others across the state – where many students have family – weren’t so lucky.
“I’ve heard a lot of stories on the news about people trapped in their houses with no power, no water, my family back in Houston was in that situation, so more so than us I’m concerned about the people back home,” said student Riley Zimmerman.
Students said they wished the state had better prepared residents everywhere.
“I saw on social media, other people were saying that Texas, we’re just being dramatic about it. Like this is not a big deal,” said student Darcy Dockery. “But it definitely is a big deal for us because we’re not necessarily prepared for that kind of weather.”
Fortunately those students’ families who were out of town were not too badly impacted by the weather and thankfully they’re all safe now. The students said they’re all grateful for how Lubbock and Texas Tech dealt with the situation, but looking ahead – they wish the state had given a much bigger warning about how serious this storm was going to be.