Downtown Marble Falls covered in snow after the February storm. The freezing weather was one of the top stories of 2021 in the Highland Lakes. Photo courtesy of LeeAnn Clark
Except for the obvious — the continuing pandemic and the snowstorm that shut down the entire state in February — this list of top stories of 2021 is in no particular order. Between the pandemic and “snowmageddon,” the editors at DailyTrib.com decided COVID-19 remains the biggest story of the year, as it was in 2020, and we hope it will not be in 2022.
The entire state of Texas was under a winter storm warning on Feb. 13-18. For days, snow, sleet, and freezing rain turned a state known for its warm weather into an arctic nightmare, causing the deaths of 210 people. More than 4.5 million homes and businesses were without power for days. Nearly 15 million people were without water. The failure of the electric grid in Texas — the only state not wholly on either the eastern or western U.S. grids — turned residents’ attention toward ERCOT, the then-little-known agency in charge of the state’s power. ERCOT stands for Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
Covering local city governments brought up other growth issues, and city councils and county commissioners continue to struggle with the availability of clean water and adequate wastewater treatment facilities.
While the area remains in State Senate District 24, legislators redrew the lines to include an area that wraps south and around San Antonio. Current District 24 state Sen. Dawn Cunningham is seeking the Republican nomination for Texas land commissioner, so the area will have a new senator in 2022.
The redistricting takes effect for the 2022 primary and general elections. The federal government has, however, filed a lawsuit challenging Texas’ redistricting.
In the fall, the Marble Falls, Faith Academy, and Smoking for Jesus Ministry School football teams all advanced to the playoffs in their respective leagues. The Marble Falls Mustangs reached the regional round of the University Interscholastic League’s Class 5A Division II playoffs. The Faith Flames were the runners-up of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools’ six-man Division II conference. The Smoking for Jesus Eagles repeated as state champions of the Texas Christian Athletic League.