SALT LAKE CITY — Many pageant queens are stuck in Texas after a severe winter storm covered several cities in snow and ice, making roads dangerous and prohibiting travel.
Brittany Butler was excited for the United States of America Nation Pageant in San Antonio Texas. She has been crowned USOA Mrs. Utah 2021.
Things started wonderfully and the pageant was ‘amazing’ Butler said. However, with a winter storm looming, Butler and many other queens quickly realized they needed to stay an extra night to ride out the storm.
“San Antonio is not prepared for any type of snow situation, you literally have to wait for the snow to melt before you can go anywhere,” Butler said on a ZOOM call with FOX13 News from her brother’s house in San Antonio.
Three Utah Beauty Queens have been stuck in Texas since Sunday following the USOA Beauty Pageant. Many of the women are still in a hotel w/o food, running water or power. More tonight on @fox13 at 9. How you can help: https://t.co/T4wNEIKBrL pic.twitter.com/uZvUfBjQFj— Sydney Glenn (@SydneyGlennTV) February 19, 2021
Butler considers herself lucky that she has family nearby in San Antonio she can stay with, unfortunately about 60 to 70 other contestants are still in hotels with their families.
The hotel most of the queens are staying at doesn’t have running water, Butler said. Yet, they are still being charged full price.
“They are stuck there no water, they don’t have access to food, we are trying to ship in any restaurant that will deliver. We are buying in bulk meals, just so that we can feed them. It is just kind of a disaster,” Butler said.
The contestants pay for food, travel and lodging for themselves and their families on their own dime, Butler said. A GoFundMe has been set up to help with the costs.
“It shows you how easily we can go from happy and healthy and comfortable to in dire straits,” Butler said.
It has been an experience Butler said she will never forget.
“Seeing people go down to the Riverwalk and scooping water out so they can flush their toilets or getting snow from outside just so they can flush their toilets will stick with me forever. It is so striking and so surreal,” she said.
Despite the hardships, the queens are finding ways to help each other and others during this difficult time, Butler said.
“We are a group of women who persevere under any circumstances, it’s kind of one of the key quality that pageant queens have,” she said.