Published On: Sat, Feb 20th, 2021

Will a Texas winter disaster deter serve tech migration?

Austin is famous for a customarily amiable winters. But on Feb 12, a winter charge strike a state — heading to over a week of frozen temperatures. This has resulted in a statewide disaster with millions of Texas residents losing appetite or water, or both.

It’s too early to tell a accurate fee this has all taken in detriment of life, skill repairs and mercantile activity. But it’s transparent that this disaster is, and will continue to be, harmful on many levels. Austin-area hospitals even mislaid H2O this week, as an denote of how bad things have been.

Since final Thursday, my possess domicile mislaid appetite and got it behind mixed times. On Feb 17, we mislaid water, with no suspicion of when it will be restored. we comprehend there are many worse off than me, so I’ll gangling we a empathize party, though it’s unequivocally been a humbling experience. Boiling snow/ice for toilet H2O and rationing a small bottled H2O we had left with fear of frozen/bursting pipes. At slightest we have been comfortable a past integrate of days, as many still don’t have power.

Meanwhile, over a past few months (and years, really), Austin has been creation headlines for other news — namely a fact that so many tech companies, founders (ahem, Elon) and investors are possibly relocating their domicile here (Oracle), building poignant factories (Tesla) or offices (Apple, Google, Facebook) here, or are meditative about relocating entirely.

The miss of state income taxes has been a large draw, as good as a housing/land/office prices that are affordable when compared to those in a Bay Area. This is zero new, though usually accelerated as a pestilence has encouraged/forced some-more remote work.

Ironically, some of a unequivocally things that have led to a state being some-more appealing to companies have also contributed to a crisis: Fewer taxes means reduction income for infrastructure, for one.

But it goes over that. Many other states have had frozen cold temperatures though a detriment of appetite and H2O that Texas is now experiencing. As The Washington Post reported progressing this week, a state’s choice to deregulate electricity led to “a financial structure for appetite era that offers no incentives to appetite plant operators to ready for winter. In a name of deregulation and giveaway markets, critics say, Texas has combined an electric grid that puts an importance on inexpensive prices over arguable service.”

Even Elon common his beating on Twitter:

It’s satisfactory to contend Texas has captivated widespread critique of a doing of this new predicament — both in terms of a miss of credentials and mismanagement (Sen. Cruz, we’re looking during you). But are a events of a past week going to take divided some of a gleam on Austin as a intensity relocation end for tech and investors? Will this deter people from wanting to pierce here? Isn’t it also mocking that some folks who didn’t wish to pierce here due to a boiling summer temperatures are now also slamming a city/state for a impacts of a critical winter storm?

So we did what many other forward tech reporters competence do in this situation, and took to Twitter. The formula were flattering many as approaching — sundry and ardent on possibly side.

There were many tweets from Austinites who shielded their city and praised how a residents have come together during crises:

Then there were some tweets from people who lived here though are troubled and disappointed:

There were also some tweets from others who pronounced they were so incited off they’d never anticipate relocating to Texas or that they were perturbed by a miss of preparation:

And there were those who don’t live here though scoffed during a idea that this was adequate to keep people away, while others forked out that healthy disasters occur all over:

Then there were those who joked that a disaster was engineered as a ploy to “keep California people away,” or during slightest competence have that effect:

I have lived on all 3 coasts — East, West and Gulf. There are pluses and minuses to each. This expected is adequate of a halt to keep people away. But we will say that a state could — and should — have been some-more prepared when it motionless to deregulate electricity. we am sad during all a pang people in a city and state are traffic with and for now, usually wish to see things get behind to “normal” as shortly as probable so a usually predicament we’re traffic with is a COVID-19 pandemic. Never suspicion we’d demeanour behind fondly on those days.

Here’s to anticipating that emigration of techies can build solutions that could maybe assistance forestall identical disasters in a future.

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