An Update On The Winter Storm

The winter storm this past month had an enormous impact on the region. Life for many is back to normal; the ice that encased everything, leaving most of us stuck inside for a few days, eventually melted, and thousands of people lost power that was eventually restored. For those dealing with fallen trees and broken pipes, the damage may still be in the process of resolution. And for the nine people who lost their lives, it is tragic for them and their loved ones.

A storm like this reminds us that we are small compared to the force of nature. That in many important ways, we just aren’t in charge of what is going to happen.

A storm like this also highlights the existing fractures in our community. Those who lost power and had resources were more easily able to manage their need for shelter and warmth, perhaps using a generator, or staying with a friend or family member, or just getting to a hotel. Those people temporarily displaced from housing, if they have homeowners or renters insurance, will eventually be back in a home. But there were many people, people without extra resources and without renters insurance, that lost their housing and belongings due to water damage and collapsed roofs. Landlords are not required to provide temporary shelter if a household is displaced in this kind of situation.

At CPAH, we had several units impacted at one of our family properties, and of the 11 apartments initially evacuated, five of the apartments will be uninhabitable for up to three months. CPAH services staff are continuing to work with our residents to ensure that they don’t become even temporarily homeless during this time. We know other community-based organizations are taking a similar approach.

Weather events are becoming more common over time. Take care of your neighbors and support organizations that are working to keep people housed and safe no matter the weather.


Warmly –

Rachael Duke, Executive Director