It's fair to say the Tri-Cities have been impacted heavily by the weather outside, but two local soccer teams are dealing with the winter conditions in Texas on a trip they won't likely forget.
Two Eastern Washington Surf Soccer Club teams went to Texas for a tournament late last week, and neither team has been able to return and one worse off than the other. The teams include a mix of players from the greater Tri-Cities and Spokane areas and are separated between Round Rock and Austin.
"Today is day three in the airport hotel," said coach Crissie Woods.
The tournament had age brackets staggered. When Crissie Woods' team checked out of their hotel on Saturday morning and headed to the Austin airport, they didn't know the whirlwind of events to follow. Their flight Saturday night was canceled not due to weather -- But due to the pilot tapping out on flight hours.
"We were supposed to fly out on Saturday," explained Woods, "and our flight got canceled not because of weather, ironically. It got canceled due to the pilot having to tap out, and we weren't able to get another flight before the weather ruined everything."
Without transportation or a hotel, they scrambled and were able to find an airport hotel. Then came the problem of food... Soccer players are always hungry.
"Well we're all pretty hungry," said center back Maggie Perryman of Richland. "We always have to tell each other our stomachs are all growling, so we have to get used to it."
The hotel had ran out of food within a day. They had gas station taquitos for dinner Sunday night. The team scrambled to find a way to feed everyone Monday, but determined team moms were able to find a local Dollar Story to tide them over.
"We were lucky enough to have one set of moms able to secure a rental vehicle after our flight got canceled," said Woods. "Yesterday they went out and braved the roads and were able to find a Dollar Store that was open and got us a bunch of cereal, and snacks, Pop Tarts, and that's what we've been living off of. We don't have drinking water. We've been lucky to have power as Austin is on a rotating power grid."
With roads frozen over, most businesses are closed. With limited transportation combined with the risk of venturing out on the slick streets, this is an issue.
"Austin is not used to this weather," said Woods. "Apparently it's been 35 years since a storm or weather like this, so they don't have plows. People don't know how to drive in weather much less clear the roads, so people aren't able to get to work, which means gas stations are closed, grocery stores are closed, restaurants are closed, Uber Eats is closed. Any type of food delivery service is closed. We will hear something is open and then find out it's not."
While their first flight was canceled due to an anomaly, the weather has delayed their trip back to Tri-Cities by six days. They are scheduled to fly out Sunday pending any further delays.
On the roster, nine girls are from the Tri-Cities or Walla Walla: