Peter Zurba said trees just collapses under the weight of all the ice. (Submitted)

Peter Zurba said trees just collapses under the weight of all the ice. (Submitted)

U.S. man credits Revelstoke upbringing for surviving Texas ice storm

The storm killed 82 people

Winter Storm Uri was one of the worst natural disasters in the recorded history of Texas.

The major ice storm knocked out power for almost 10 million people, making it the largest blackout in the U.S. since a software bug caused widespread power outages in 2003.

As Storm Uri swept across the continent from northern Canada, homes lost power for days, causing pipes to freeze and burst.

READ MORE: Winter storm knocks out power for days, kills 9 in Texas

From Feb. 16 to 21, Storm Uri killed 82 people and caused damages pegged at least $195 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in the state.

Peter Zurba said his skills gained through his Revelstoke upbringing, helped him weather the storm.

“In Revelstoke, we’re just born with winter skills.”

He said some of his neighbours had no winter clothes and many panicked.

Zurba said life in Revelstoke taught him how to layer clothes and start fires. Unlike many Texans, Zurba had snow pants and snow boots.

“I was ahead of the game.”

Peter Zurba said trees just collapses under the weight of all the ice. (Submitted)

Since Zurba lives near a hospital, outside Austin, his home did not lose power. However, people just five minutes away lost electricity for more than 30 hours.

Zurba said the ice storm was incredible, going from sleet to freezing rain to snow. Water froze on tree leaves, causing large trunks to split and break.

“Trees were shattering,” he said.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Lights come back on in Texas as water woes rise in the South

By the storm’s end, Zurba said roughly 20 cm of snow had fallen as temperatures had plunged to almost -10 C. At times during the storm, Texas was colder than Revelstoke.

The average lows in Texas during February typically hover around +4 C. Storm Uri brought the most snow to the state since 1985.

With the fresh snow, Zurba said he took his family sledding, using garbage bags with holes cut out for legs.

“That’s what we did growing up.”

The fresh snow reminded Zurba of being at the top of the ski hill in Revelstoke.

“It brought me home.”

This week, temperatures in Austin are expected to reach +28 C.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Severe weather

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Revelstoke’s Peter Zurba said the recent Texan storm was dangerous if people were not prepared. Luckily, he had solid winter skills learned from his Revelstoke childhood. (Submitted)

Revelstoke’s Peter Zurba said the recent Texan storm was dangerous if people were not prepared. Luckily, he had solid winter skills learned from his Revelstoke childhood. (Submitted)

Just Posted

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

Two teen boys admitted to playing with a lighter for the April 16 wildfire in Oliver. (Lynda Shoemaker photo Facebook)
Two youths admit to causing grass fire in Oliver

That same night a 26-year-old man was arrested for deliberately setting a field on fire

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

Abandoned Rail Brewing Company, located at 1220 Davenport Ave. on the KVR trail, has applied to the City of Penticton for a manufacturing facility and lounge endorsement. The city will review the application in their April 20, 2021 council meeting. (City of Penticton photo)
Penticton could be getting a new brewery on the KVR trail

The patio would seat up to 113 just 10 feet from the trail

courts
Penticton man guilty of assaulting young boys

Bryan Lamb was found guilty of two counts of assault

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
‘Do not occupy’ order lifted, residents of West Kelowna apartment allowed to return home

The building was evacuated early Sunday morning due to a strange smell

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

Vernon Search and Rescue’s helicopter team was asked to be on standby to rescue a missing hiker in Naramata. (Air Rescue One/VSAR photo)
Lost hiker rescued in Okanagan Mountain Park

COSAR, PENSAR, and VSAR worked together to rescue a hiker in Okanagan Mountain Park

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Increased COVID-19 activity brings vaccine clinic to Enderby

Registration opens Tuesday, April 20 for May clinic for anyone over the age of 18

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Most Read