Many students and staff were negatively affected by last month’s winter storm, but businesses around the TCU community benefited from the disruptions.
Robin Smith, manager at Jabo’s ACE Hardware, said before and during the storm, the store sold out of ice melt, salt, ice scrapers and sleds. For a store that doesn’t see many customers on a regular basis, the storm brought in more money.
Customers didn’t stop there as demand continued to grow even after temperatures rose.
Residents with plumbing issues were quick to find ACE Hardware. The store sold out of plumbing equipment twice. Smith said the easiest way to fix pipes is by using Sharkbites, which can be expensive.
“If I had to estimate [the cost of fixing pipes] it would be in the hundreds because lots of the plumbing parts are the most expensive,” Smith said.
Hardware stores weren’t the only ones with more customers than normal. Since many students were without electricity, warm meals were hard to come by and they turned to local restaurants.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop on Berry Street only lost power for one day, and was the only restaurant open at other times. Lines were out the door during some days when repair crews were still unable to use roads.
“We got slammed – nonstop lines out the door,” said Eduardo Jimenez, the general manager of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.
Since delivery services were not operating due to poor road conditions, members of Fuzzy’s staff had to go buy the food for the restaurant themselves.
“The only expense we had was with our food distributors so we had to go out and buy our own at different price points,” Jimenez said.
President Biden declared the event a natural disaster, and it is estimated to be the costliest disaster in Texas history. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided a $600,000 fund to aid survivors of the winter storm.