“The cold set in, the power went out and the snow filled the air,” Chickasaw citizen, Sarah Miller said. “At that point, we noticed it wasn’t a normal week as the stories on the news were definitely grim.”
For Sarah and her family, the snowstorm of 2021 is something they will never forget. For them, like thousands of others, it began Sunday night. The temperature started to drop and snow began to fall in Gordonville, Texas. “Roads were blocked; transportation wasn’t an option,” Sarah said. “Even our truck got stuck as we attempted to get bottled water Monday and Tuesday.”
Things took a turn for the worse Tuesday. Though Sarah and her husband, Mickey, were joking with their children about living in the olden days, on the inside they were scared. “Truth be told, my husband and I were afraid as the power would come on for 10 minutes, which wasn’t long enough to even warm the house above 40 degrees,” Sarah remarked. “It was only going to get worse.”
For long periods of time, the Miller family lived basically under covers to stay warm. “We all bundled up under covers at a time when the kids were scared to death at night as there was no light except for candles.” It was bad enough to where the Millers could only rely on propane for heat. “The only heat to be spoken of was from our propane stove that we burned non-stop,” she said. “We were scared we would run out but thank God we had it at all.”
Fortunately, Sarah’s husband was able to get water and milk by traveling to Oklahoma during a break in the snow. That night, though, was extremely difficult. “That was the worst night of our lives,” Sarah mentioned. “We were so miserable. No matter how much we bundled up, we were coughing from the bitter cold and afraid our children would get hypothermia.”
As the snow subsided, their problems only worsened. “We realized as things started to thaw, our water pipes were frozen solid and busted, and our truck needed repairs,” Sarah said.
Even in the midst of tremendous difficulties, the Miller family was thankful. “We know we can depend on our tribe,” she explained. “Thank you so much for the love and, most importantly, the hope needed to make this simple family realize the importance of unity and togetherness the tribe teaches and shows daily.” The Chickasaw Foundation assisted the Miller family through the Chickasaw Nation Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.
If you or your family experiences a natural disaster and are in need of assistance, please contact your local area office. Area office contact information can be found at Chickasaw.net/AreaOffices.