Christmas Eve 2020 was definitely a time to not be outdoors for anyone, including animals.

With the weather confining us to sitting by the fire inside, it created a time to reflect on the past.

With extreme cold conditions (although not freezing, thankfully), it brings back memories of Christmas Eve 1989. That was the day a record low of 14 degrees was set in Galveston, and unfortunately, I was at my house on the West End of Galveston Island at the time.

Most of the time, my family spent Christmas at our Houston home, but that year, we decided to enjoy Galveston at Christmas. From the forecasts, we knew it would be cold but did not think it would get to extremes.

Our house was on a canal in Sea Isle, and I took the normal preparations for a freeze by cutting off the water and opening the faucets to drain the pipes. That night our central heat ran all night trying to keep the temperature around 60 although the thermostat was set higher.

The next morning, I tried to turn the water back on. The freeze was so hard, however, it busted the PVC pipes at a number of spots.

The canal in front of my house was frozen over, and it was a sight watching birds trying to land on the ice and hit a skid.

We returned to Houston later in the day and found our water pipes frozen but not busted. Fortunately, our heating system did get the house to a comfortable temperature.

Several days later, we returned to Galveston and observed many fish laying dead on the bottom of the canal. A major fish kill took place during the freeze, and fortunately, we have not seen anything like that since.

I hope this Christmas Day finds everyone in good spirits, and that Santa placed that special gift you wanted under the Christmas tree.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your catch to reel.report@galvnews.com or call 409-683-5273.

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