Starting Monday, 30 January 2023, the temperatures dropped to around freezing and it rained. The result was an ice storm and the build-up of up to 3/4 inch of ice on everything exposed to the outdoors, specifically trees and power lines. This added a lot of weight to the trees, breaking many of the branches, which in the rest of Austin, fell on the power lines, disrupting the electrical system for the City.
Our power lines are all underground, but apparently they come from somewhere. We lost power starting at 3:44 AM on Wednesday. Power stayed off all Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday until about 10:30 PM, so almost 3 days without power, while the temperatures outside stayed at about freezing. It fell to about 56 degrees inside the house, as we coped without power for heat (we have a gas furnace, but it uses an electric fan to force the heated air around the house) or cold (the refrigerator ice started melting by Thursday) or lights (except for flashlights and candles).
Once the ice melted and we got power back, the temperatures warmed up and the sun came out, we were able to survey the damage. The big elm tree in the neighbors front yard took a real beating, losing a lot of limbs.
On our side, we lost some limbs from the remaining Drake Elm near the bathroom. In fact one of the limbs that fell, tore the screen on the Master bathroom window.
But the main loss was in the back, in the Shin Oaks by the Back Bedroom/Bathroom and in the Jungle. Compare the Shin Oaks from July 2015
with what is left of them now.
But since the loss of tree limbs is massive across the entire City, we are told to just put the limbs out by the curb and the City will be around to pick them up. This creates a rather large pile in front of our house, with similar piles all up and down the streets.