Winter Storm Uri
On February 14, the expected impacts from Winter Storm Uri resulted in over 170 million Americans being placed under various winter weather alerts across the United States, hitting Texas particularly hard. Over 120 million of those people were placed under winter storm warnings or ice storm warnings by the National Weather Service. The winter storm caused power grids to fail across the U.S., causing blackouts for over 5.2 million homes and businesses, the vast majority of which were in the state of Texas. The storm left 151 people dead in the state of Texas. Beyond the power outages and deaths, thousands of homes experienced frozen pipes with the rapid freeze. This lead to pipes bursting and homes flooding, once the pipes thawed out.
Lifeline partnered with both Church Project Orange County and Church Project The Woodlands in Texas and quickly gathered up a truckload of plumbing supplies in California. Plumbing supplies were not readily available in Texas with so many houses needing repair. Supplies in California were also quickly disappearing as plumbers saw the opportunity to drive out to Texas with the demand for plumbing services soaring. We heard that the wait for a plumber in the Houston area was 6 weeks and they were charging $500 just for a call out. There were other stories of people being charged $1,500 for a quick two pipe fix, which only required about $50 of parts and materials.
We saw a huge opportunity to get materials out to those in need and mobilize the Church to do simple (and some not so simple) plumbing fixes, being the hands and feet of Jesus. In just a 4 day period we were able to fix approximately 200 homes and restore normal water use within these homes for everyday use. Thanks to our partnership with Church Project, people were helped, prayed with, and connected to the local church.