MARY MEAUX — Southeast Texan ingenuity goes a long way

Published 12:03 am Friday, February 19, 2021

Southeast Texans are a resourceful bunch of folks, especially in times of natural disasters.

From the hurricane survival stories of boats moving down streets and rescuing people to the ingenious ways we have found to pass the time during the coronavirus pandemic — remember the stories of people making their own bread or sewing masks and making their own clothing?

And now, faced with a winter storm that led to frozen roads, broken pipes and low water pressure, comes even more ingenuity.

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Scrolling through social media I’ve seen people melt snow/remaining ice from the storm and use that to flush toilets while dealing with water outages.

I know of some people who just brought in chunks of snow/ice and put it in the toilet tank where it will melt and be used for flushing.

I’ve been heard of some people using the snow for their pet’s water bowl (boiled and cooled of course).

Then there’s a friend that put an oven rack on top of her chiminea and made grilled cheese sandwiches — much to the delight of her children — and later used the chiminea to dry her children’s socks.

Then there are folks in the area who don’t have central heat and air and rely on space heaters and combination air conditioners/heaters. While it sounds great, it’s not. They have learned to use some of the rooms of their home — bedrooms/bathroom/living room and have used curtains to separate the living room from other parts on the house to keep the heat in.

There are the resourceful folks who put sheets of thick plastic over their vehicles (no garage) before the storm hit so all they had to do was take the plastic off and go, well, when the roads were safe to drive on.

I have to tip my hat to the resourceful people of Sabine Pass who come together and rely on each other in hard times.

But this isn’t a new thing. I remember years ago after hurricanes Rita and Ike how the residents there gathered at the school.

They worked together to muck out houses and more. And they did this without a lifeline to Port Arthur as there were still floodwaters.

And most recently they dealt — and are still dealing — with the winter storm. All bridges in the area were closed including the Intracoastal Canal Bridge, which is the only way in and out of the community.

Adam Saunders of Sabine Pass told Port Arthur Newsmedia — “We are a small town and a small community. The fact that we have depended on each other in the past makes it easier for us to depend on each other now. It’ll make it even easier to depend on each other in the future.”

I’m pretty proud to be from a part of the state where we can join together and help one another. We can use our heads to solve problems that Mother Nature throws at us.


Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at