ARCTIC OUTBREAK - TEXAS
Houston: The Great Texas Freeze of February 2021 sent temperatures plummeting all the way to the state's Gulf coast, including the city of Houston. The bitter cold was extremely rare for Houston, where the combination of winds and frigid temperatures resulted in wind chills plunging to zero at George Bush Intercontinental Airport during the morning of Feb. 16.
At Houston's Hobby Airport, the wind chill dipped to 1 degree on that same morning. According to meteorologist Alex Lamers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that was the lowest wind chill on an hourly observation at Hobby Airport since 1990.
Texans were running out of food. From farm to table, freezing temperatures and power outages are disrupted the food supply chain that people rely on every day. Across the state, people used up supplies they had stockpiled and were losing more as items started to spoil in dark refrigerators. Some were storing their remaining rations in coolers outside, and trips to the grocery store often did little to replenish pantries.
With grocery stores across the state shuttered for lack of power, supermarkets that remained open saw supplies dwindle and shortages ripple over to food pantries that counted on grocery store surplus to keep their own shelves stocked.
South Padre Island: As temperatures fell below zero, more than 4,000 cold-stunned sea turtles suffering from hypothermia were rescued from freezing Texas waters by the conservation group, Sea Turtle Inc. But the facility was was without power needed help to keep them warm.
Response: Houston / South Padre Island