LETTER: Difficulties amid freeze

I read my newspaper while having my morning cup of coffee and when I got to the opinion page I almost fell out of my chair! I was in disbelief at what I was reading about our infamous power outage. Ross Ramsey from The Texas Tribune was criticizing our elected officials from the governor on down the chain of elected officials about the power outages of February (Commentary, March 19).

The people in office now don’t seem to have any idea how to run the government of the state of Texas any more than the migrants coming across our border looking for safety. The group of people behind the scenes in Austin (unelected) write almost all of the legislation presented by the politicians according to what little news we get from what little transparency there is.

We were awakened by the cold temperatures in our house on Feb. 15, not knowing what had happened and soon realizing the power was off. Luckily we had bottled gas to be able to turn the kitchen range on to brew coffee and help take the extreme chill off.

Thursday evening the power came on in our subdivision but on our side of the street, nothing. The transformer had tripped, which it had a record of doing in the past. AEP came and put it back in service, but the next day they came and replaced the transformer. So our power was off almost five days, which resulted in us losing all or our frozen meats and vegetables we had stored up in case of more COVID-19 lockdowns.

We spent two nights in motels just to take showers and be warm. All the motels had jacked up their prices from $65 to $105 and up. I want to thank the motel owners for doing this to the taxpayers after taking the COVID-19 relief money our taxes provided them. This was showing the public how much they appreciated the help.

On Feb. 18 my wife and I took a tour from Rio Grande City to Brownsville and Padre Island. Every Walmart was open, two H-E-Bs were closed without power. Most gas stations were closed. Brownsville looked like a ghost town. The fast food outlets were wrapped around with long lines in their drive-thrus.

This fiasco was totally avoided by the powers that be just to save a few dollars and puff up their chests, telling their voters that Texas can’t be bothered by the federal regulations.

Bill Williams, Palmview