Listen: Australian living in the US, Jessica Voigt Page talks about the challenges of the current Deep Freeze in Texas
The State of Texas is in the grips of a blast of wintery weather, with millions of residents facing days of power loss, and President Joe Biden declaring an emergency. Australian expat Jessica Voigt Page, a saxophone teacher living in Austin, shared what life is like stuck indoors during a snowstorm, in the midst of a pandemic.
“At our coldest was negative 17 Celsius. Usually it doesn’t dip below negative two,’ Jessica told Sam on Hope Breakfast.
She shared that she is in one of the few neighbourhoods to still have power, but has friends who aren’t so fortunate.
“I’ve got friends who have been without power since about 1.30am on Monday, and it’s now noon on Wednesday. They’re going on a couple of days of not being able to heat their houses or cook, or anything like that.”
Because winter storms like this are so rare for Austin, the city isn’t equipped with snowploughs and salt to clear the roads. Vaccination efforts have been disrupted, and people who are able to get to grocery stores have been forced to queue for hours in the cold.
“It’s an interesting challenge because we do have the pandemic going on, we still have hundreds of cases a day here in Austin alone. But also the roads are so slippery here, we don’t have the infrastructure to handle snow and ice,” Jessica said.
“So we actually can’t drive around that much because it’s so dangerous. It’s like a double whammy.”
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You can hear more about the situation on the ground in Texas from Jessica Voigt Page in the player above.