DALLAS — One Hoosier's extended President's Day weekend in Texas has turned into a much longer trip with a questionable return date as the state recovers from a massive winter storm and power outages.
Anna Sutter arrived in Dallas on Wednesday to spend the extended weekend with her girlfriend and planned to come back to Indianapolis on Monday.
But she is still in Texas and is one of the millions of people dealing with rolling power outages as the state tries to preserve energy.
When WRTV spoke to her, the power was back on. But she said she anticipates the power will go out again
"This sounds silly, but it's almost like a stress feeling because I'm just waiting for it to go out again," Sutter said. "The sound of it going out is scary, not knowing how long it's going to be out is scary."
When it started to snow Sunday evening, Sutter said it was fun for Texans because they don't typically see snow.
"But then it stopped being fun because there started being rolling blackouts in the middle of the night," Sutter said.
All throughout the night, the power would go out and then come back on. The rolling blackouts continued into the next day when they were eventually without power for 12 hours.
Temperatures inside the apartment during this time were in the 30s, Sutter said.
"It was very, very frigid cold," Sutter said. "We had to layer up. It's been nuts. Nowhere in Dallas is there power. We found one Mexican restaurant that I believe had a generator that was just barreling customers in and out, in and out."
While Sutter was driving around, she said it felt like a ghost town. The highways and streets aren't clear and stoplights are completely out.
"There's nobody really around, nobody has power which was really, really scary," Sutter said.
Being from Indiana, she said she realized the area wasn't prepared for the winter weather. People didn't have salt, snowplows, or shovels.
"We ended up trying to go to the store and we were behind a white pick-up truck, but it was the transportation vehicle for Dallas, but they just had bags of salt," Sutter said. "That was it, just bags of salt. And that's what they were prepared to do."
She had several flights scheduled to come back to Indianapolis. So far, they have all been canceled.
Her next flight is scheduled for Friday morning, but she doesn't think she'll get back to Indianapolis until Sunday.
"For people that think that they aren't going to experience stuff like this, and it's very possible that you will," Sutter said. "It's very important to be prepared. We got creative. We put blankets on the windows to try to keep the heat in."
She said it's comforting for her to see Texans helping each other out during this time.
"I know this is really, really tough for Texans and I think that everybody is trying to do the best that they can do," Sutter said. "I think there are a lot of people willing to help out one another, which is really, really comforting and nice. That's what's keeping me going. Just humanity in general and staying positive in that way."