EXCLUSIVE: Texas Director Updates Storm Aftermath

Texas Recreational Vehicle Association RTVA logo

An unusual winter storm and record-low temperatures left millions of Texans without power, an experience Texas RV Association (TRVA) Executive Director Phil Elam said Thursday he might “equate to a 100-year flood.”

With no electricity or internet, Elam said he has not heard much from members. He was able to get in touch with one dealer, he said, who told Elam that while making a short visit to his dealership this week, he sold every generator in stock.

“I am sure dealers are busy taking care of their equipment and infrastructure at their dealerships,” Elam said. “And everyone is selling out of generators. Because I am listed as the TRVA, people see ‘Texas recreational vehicle.’ I get phone calls all day and night asking if I sell generators or propane.”

Elam said he stopped by the TRVA office earlier this week to check on electricity, but nothing is back up yet. The association lost power at 4:30 a.m. CST on Monday, he said. Tuesday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas had declared its highest state of emergency.

“We are basically shut down. It is that simple,” he said. “Life is, as my wife and I like to say, another day in paradise.”

At his home in Austin, Texas, Elam said residents are boiling their drinking water following a temporary citywide advisory. Austin’s water treatment plant lost power Wednesday, although KXAN reported Feb. 18 it was back online early Thursday. Elam said he heard Houston got some electricity back up Thursday morning, too.

Heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures have been persistent for five days, Elam said.

“The only heat I have in my house is my fireplace,” he added. “I am sitting in my recliner wearing two pairs of sweatpants, two long-sleeve shirts, an insulated jacket and a cap over my head and ears. I am three feet from the fire.”

Elam said the Texas Legislature is expected to re-examine the state’s infrastructure, which he considers unequipped to handle this weather.

“It is real different,” Elam said of the winter storm. “I have lived here my whole life, and I have never seen anything like this.”

TRVA member and dealer updates will be provided as they are received.

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