Iced Texas: storm closes strake Jesuit for a week

Photo by Ruvim Miksanskiy on

Hurley Qi ’22

On February 14, 2021, Texas was hit with a severe winter storm, which caused massive power outages, water damage, and school closures. 

The winter storm, originated from the north, brought an entire week of freezing temperature. As a result, Strake Jesuit and the surrounding Houston areas were covered with a layer of white snow on February 15. With the day being a school holiday, students enjoyed playing with the rare snow within their community. 

“I was looking forward to the snow since it’s such a rare occurrence in Texas,” said Dante Martinez ’22. 

To combat the winter storm, Strake Jesuit originally scheduled all online classes for February 16 and planned to return to campus on February 17 to celebrate Ash Wednesday. However, the extreme cold weather caused by the storm quickly caught everyone by surprise and caused power outages across the city and the state. The freezing temperatures crippled power plants, and many students quickly found themselves without power in the freezing winter. 

The situation quickly worsened, and the school announced the cancellation of classes on February 16 “due to travel conditions, widespread power outages, and the weather forecast,” according to an announcement, 

As the week progressed, many Strake Jesuit families continued to struggle with their water and power supplies. The cold temperatures and frozen roads delayed the government’s response to the crisis.

“When my family experienced power outages, I read books and played board games to pass the time,” Dante Martinez said. 

In order to give the SJ students enough time to readjust, Strake Jesuit announced, on February 16, the cancellation of all in-person and remote classes from Wednesday, February 17 through Friday, February 19. 

The situation finally began to improve on Thursday, February 18. Many families saw their power and water systems being gradually restored. Shops stores, and facilities began to operate. 

Throughout the winter storm crisis, Strake Jesuit students faced the hardship, stayed warm. and accumulated stories to tell their classmates when classes resumed on Monday, February 22.