JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) As thousands in Texas continue to struggle with power outages and water issues in the aftermath of a deadly winter storm, one Johnson City family is glad to be back home in Tennessee after witnessing it firsthand.
Andy and Sara Hodges got stranded in Austin, Texas last week when they went down for what was supposed to be a fun birthday trip.
On Sunday the 14th, just a day before they were set to fly home, they saw the weather take a turn for the worst with a fresh dumping of snow and ice.
“When our flight was cancelled in the middle of the night and then we found out the airport was just completely shut down, we knew there were bigger issues there. We were seeing it progressing very quickly, everything was shutting down, restaurants, people started kind of panicking,” said Andy Hodges.
The Hodges family says as the ice-covered roads were left untreated and unplowed around Downtown Austin everything started closing, including most all restaurants. Even their hotel ran out of food.
“It was scary, mostly because we couldn’t control anything,” said Sara Hodges.
They braced the winter weather walking the snow-covered streets to find food and basic needs the three days they were trapped in Austin until they could get a flight home.
Andy says they lasted mostly on granola bars, beef jerky and bottled water from a local CVS.
Thankfully, their hotel never lost power but it was overcrowded as staff members could not go home from work and locals poured into the hotel in search of power to protect their families from the bitter cold.
“As annoying as it was for us to have to go and try to find food and be stuck and pay a bunch of money, it’s nothing compared to what the people who live there were having to go through. We at least got out and they are just there,” said Sara.
The couple finally got a flight back to the Tri-Cities on Thursday, Feb. 18. They had to commission a local friend to give them a much needed ride to the airport as no taxis, Ubers or Lyfts were running due to the road conditions.