We are getting a very short preview of what will eventually happen to the United States as a whole. America’s infrastructure is aging and crumbling. Our power grids were never intended to support so many people, our water systems are a complete joke, and it has become utterly apparent that we would be completely lost if a major long-term national emergency ever struck. Texas has immense wealth and vast energy resources, but now it is being called a “failed state”. If it can’t even handle a few days of cold weather, what is the rest of America going to look like when things really start to get chaotic in this country?
At this point, it has become clear that the power grid in Texas is in far worse shape than anyone ever imagined. When extremely cold weather hit the state, demand for energy surged dramatically. At the same time, about half of the wind turbines that Texas relies upon froze, and the rest of the system simply could not handle the massive increase in demand.
Millions of Texans were without power for days, and hundreds of thousands are still without power as I write this article.
And now we are learning that Texas was literally just moments away from “a catastrophic failure” that could have resulted in blackouts “for months”…
Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday.
As millions of customers throughout the state begin to have power restored after days of massive blackouts, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which operates the power grid that covers most of the state, said Texas was dangerously close to a worst-case scenario: uncontrolled blackouts across the state.
I can’t even imagine how nightmarish things would have eventually gotten in Texas if there had actually been blackouts for months.
According to one expert, the state really was right on the verge of a “worst case scenario”…
The worst case scenario: Demand for power outstrips the supply of power generation available on the grid, causing equipment to catch fire, substations to blow and power lines to go down.
If the grid had gone totally offline, the physical damage to power infrastructure from overwhelming the grid could have taken months to repair, said Bernadette Johnson, senior vice president of power and renewables at Enverus, an oil and gas software and information company headquartered in Austin.
For years, I have been telling my readers that they have got to have a back up plan for power, because during a major emergency the grid can fail.
And when it fails, it can literally cost some people their lives. I was deeply saddened when I learned that one man in Texas actually froze to death sitting in his own recliner…
As Texas suffered through days of power outages, a man reportedly froze to death in his recliner with his wife clinging to life beside him.
The man was found dead in his Abilene home on Wednesday after being without power for several days in the record cold.
Most Americans don’t realize that much of the rest of the world actually has much better power infrastructure than we do. Just check out these numbers…
In Japan, the average home sees only 4 minutes of power outages per year. In the American Midwest, the figure is 92 minutes per year. In the Northeast, it’s 214 minutes; all those figures cover only regular outages and not those caused by extreme weather or fires.
As our population has grown and our infrastructure has aged, performance has just gotten worse and worse. In fact, things ran much more smoothly all the way back in the mid-1980s…
According to an analysis by Climate Central, major outages (affecting more than 50,000 homes or businesses) grew ten times more common from the mid-1980s to 2012. From 2003 to 2012, weather-related outages doubled. In a 2017 report, the American Society of Civil Engineers reported that there were 3,571 total outages in 2015, lasting 49 minutes on average. The U.S. Energy Administration reports that in 2016, the average utility customer had 1.3 power interruptions, and their total blackout time averaged four hours.
America is literally crumbling all around us, and it getting worse with each passing year.
Our water systems are another example.
In Texas, the cold weather literally caused thousands of pipes to burst. The damage caused by all of these ruined pipes is going to be in the billions of dollars.
Right now, we are being told that a total of 797 water systems in the state are currently reporting problems with “frozen or broken pipes”…
Some 13.5 million people are facing water disruptions with 797 water systems throughout the state reporting issues such as frozen or broken pipes, according to Toby Baker, executive director for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. About 725 systems are under a boil water advisory, Baker said during a press conference Thursday.
Overall, approximately 7 million residents of the state live in areas that have been ordered to boil water, and it could take months for service to fully return to normal.
Without water, none of us can survive for long, and it is absolutely imperative that you have a back up plan in case your local system goes down.
In Houston, people that are without water in their homes have been forced to line up to fill buckets at a public spigot…
Meanwhile, in scenes reminiscent of a third world country, Houston residents resorted to filling up buckets of water from a spigot in a local neighborhood.
One Houston resident, whose power has just gone back on Thursday after three days but still has no water, told DailyMail.com: ‘It is crazy that we just watched NASA land on Mars but here in Houston most of us still don’t have drinking water.’
You can watch video of this happening right here. Of course if your local water system completely fails, there won’t even be a public spigot available for you to get water.
Shortages of food and other essential supplies are also being reported in Texas.
For Philip Shelley and his young wife, the situation became quite desperate fairly rapidly…
Philip Shelley, a resident of Fort Worth, told CNN that he, his wife Amber and 11-month-old daughter, Ava, were struggling to stay warm and fed. Amber is pregnant and due April 4.
“(Ava) is down to half a can of formula,” Shelley said. “Stores are out if not extremely low on food. Most of our food in the refrigerator is spoiled. Freezer food is close to thawed but we have no way to heat it up.”
So what would they have done if the blackouts had lasted for months?
All over the state, extremely long lines have been forming at local supermarkets. In some cases, people have started waiting way before the stores actually open…
Joe Giovannoli, 29, arrived at a Central Market supermarket in Austin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, an hour-and-a-half before it opened. Minutes later, more than 200 people had lined up behind him in the biting 26-degree weather.
Giovannoli’s wife is three months pregnant and the power in their one-bedroom Austin apartment blinked out Tuesday night. After a water pipe broke, firefighters also turned off the building’s water, he said. Giovannoli said he realized he still had it better than many others across Texas, but worried how long things will take to get back to normal.
This is happening in communities across Texas, and you can see video of one of these “bread lines” right here.
Of course those that had gotten prepared in advance did not have to wait in such long lines because they already had food.
Sadly, even though Joe Giovannoli had gotten to the supermarket so early, he later received really bad news…
A few minutes before the store opened its doors, a manager stepped outside and warned those waiting in line that supplies inside were low: No produce, no baked goods, not much canned food.
“We haven’t had a delivery in four days,” he said.
Remember, this is just a temporary crisis in Texas that is only going to last for a few days.
So what would happen if a severe long-term national emergency disrupted food, water and power systems for months on end?
All it took to cause a short-term “collapse scenario” in the state of Texas was some cold weather.
Eventually, much worse things will happen to our nation, and it has become clear that we are not ready.
So get prepared while you still can, because time is running out.