In the wake of Tropical Storm Beryl, which knocked out power to over 2 million homes and businesses on Monday (July 8), frustration grew across Texas as power companies, including CenterPoint Energy, failed to provide up-to-date information or maps on outages and restoration progress. Amidst the chaos, a Texas man found an inventive solution that perfectly embodies the state's resourceful spirit.

A man, known by his handle @bbqbryan on X (formerly known as Twitter), turned to an unlikely source for outage information: the Whataburger app.

Without access to a reliable power outage map, @bbqbryan began making educated guesses about power statuses based on which 24-hour Whataburger locations were closed.

This clever workaround drew comparisons to the Waffle House Index, a real-life gauge where the operational status of Waffle House restaurants is used to assess disaster recovery efforts in various areas.

While some skeptics pointed out potential flaws in @bbqbryan’s method, many others affirmed that his makeshift map accurately reflected the regions where power had been restored and where it remained out.

Despite not being a perfect tool, his creative approach filled a critical information gap during a time of need, highlighting the innovative spirit of Texans.

@bbqbryan's ingenuity did not go unnoticed. Even Whataburger itself reached out to acknowledge his unique use of their app. They tweeted, "Well there’s a use for our app we didn’t think of! We hope you and everyone else are okay! Can you DM us a good mailing address? We’d love to send you something for using the app so creatively!"

While not the perfect measurement for power outages, this interaction definitely provided a moment of levity amid the ongoing recovery efforts. As residents continue to navigate the aftermath of Tropical Storm Beryl, picking up the pieces and working towards normalcy, @bbqbryan and his Whataburger app hack definitely captured the resilience and creativity of Texas and many along the Gulf Coast who have a knack for figuring things out when the going gets tough.

As recovery efforts progress, we extend our thoughts and well-wishes to everyone affected by Beryl, hoping for a swift return to normalcy.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF

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