2021 Texas Winter Storm Resources


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TEXAS RESOURCES INFORMATION

Austin | San Antonio | Houston



AUSTIN, TEXAS

Updated 02/18/2021

Austintexas.gov


Temperatures and weather conditions in the region for the next few days are still hazardous. With temperatures not expecting to rise above freezing, the public is urged to stay off the roadways unless absolutely necessary. First responders are working to respond to calls as quick as possible; however, they are also impacted by the same travel conditions.


To help free up demand on 9-1-1 operations, Austin Police Department has asked the public to not call 9-1-1 to report power outages and only call 9-1-1 if it is a life or death emergency. For non-emergency situations, please call 3-1-1, or use the Austin 3-1-1 app. Please note, 3-1-1 is experiencing high call volumes. If you receive a busy signal, please be patient and redial or use the Austin 3-1-1 app to submit a request.

In response to the severe cold weather event, the City of Austin is partnering with multiple governmental and public agencies to provide critical services to the community. We’ve included below information on critical resources and ways to find additional information. You can also find the latest updates through the City of Austin’s Twitter and Facebook.


Cold Weather Shelters

Locations throughout the city have opened a number of shelters and warming centers with services for vulnerable populations.


City of Austin 24-hour shelters: Please check City of Austin Twitter and Facebook posts for the latest information on shelter locations and availability.

The Austin Disaster Relief Network has a network of faith-based locations that are operating as shelters. A full list of these locations, including pet-friendly shelters, can be found on ADRN’s website. These locations are not equipped with full services. People accessing these locations should bring supplies and blankets.

Austin Independent School District (AISD) opened warming centers that will provide individuals a place to warm up and charge essential medical devices that will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. These warming centers will not operate as overnight shelters and will have minimal resources on site. The latest information on the locations and availability of these shelters can be found on AISD’s Twitter and Facebook posts.

Most vulnerable populations: For individuals who are unable to shelter in place and must travel to a shelter due to medical necessity, please contact 311 or 512-974-2000 for additional information or to arrange transportation. You can also email coaemergencyrides@austintexas.gov and provide your name, phone number, address, number of people needing transport and medical needs. Transportation resources are extremely limited, and the public is asked to reserve this resource for our most vulnerable population, especially those who require power for their medical devices.


Energy and Power

Due to the severity of weather and the condition of the electric grid, Austin Energy has had to mostly maintain sustained outages, and this will continue until the emergency situation resolves. For the most up-to-date information, go to:

  • Map of current outages

  • To report Electric Outages call 512-322-9100 or go to Austin Energy’s outage reporting site

  • Click here to get outage alerts

  • For additional updates on Austin Energy services, go to the Austin Energy website or follow us on Facebook or Twitter


Water Outages and Services

As a result of the extreme weather conditions, a city-wide boil water notice has been issued due to power loss at The Ullrich Water Treatment Plant, Austin Water’s largest water treatment facility, and drops in water pressures below minimum standards. Details may be found here: Boil Water Notice and FAQs

For the most up to date information on boil notices and Austin Water services, please visit Austin Water’s posts on Twitterand Facebook.

To report water main breaks, call 512-972-1000; Residents may also report issues online: Online Leak Report Form | AustinTexas.gov

If pipes at your home or business have burst, stop water waste by turning off your water at the property-owners cut-off valve. If you are unable to locate your property-owners cut-off valve or if it won’t work, then call Austin Water at 512-972-1000 for assistance with turning off your water. Austin Water remains available to take calls regarding customer service questions, but lines may be busy due to high demand.

Customers are asked to minimize the impact and strain on our water and electric system by delaying the use of large appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers.

Remember to protect your pipes. Check here for tips.

Additional information on Austin Water services can be found on the Austin Water website.


Transportation Services

Current weather conditions have impacted transportation services. Due to the hazardous winter weather, residents are encouraged to stay in place if possible until weather and road conditions improve. The public is urged to keep the roadways clear and safe for first responders and those seeking shelter.

  • Latest information on roads and highways:

  • Highway conditions and road closures can be monitored at DriveTexas.org.

  • Information on local roadways and their conditions can be found on Austin Transportation’s Twitter and Facebook.

  • For Capital Metro Service:

  • Updates on Capital Metro service can be found on Capital Metro’s Twitter and Facebook.

  • All weather-related detours will be updated on MetroAlerts and http://CapMetro.org/Service-Alerts.

  • For Austin Airport:

  • Updates relating to air travel to and from Austin can be found on the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s Twitter and Facebook.


COVID-19 Services

Austin Public Health (APH) is delaying appointments for COVID-19 vaccine clinics and testing sites through Friday due to inclement weather and icy road conditions. To find the latest updates on testing and vaccine sites, go to the Austin Public Health COVID-19 webpage.


Trash, Composting, and Recycling Services

Austin Resource Recovery has suspended curbside pickup due to severe weather. For the latest updates on when services will resume, please visit the Austin Resource Recovery website or download the Recycle ATX app to receive notifications about your curbside collection schedule.


Other Resources

Ways to prepare and stay safe during a winter storm:

  • Keep cellphones charged and backup chargers fully charged.

  • If working or learning at home, save your work periodically and make sure your devices are on power strips. Using a power strip helps protect electronic devices in case of a power outage. Consider using external power sources for your electronics.

  • Assemble a storm preparation kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, snacks, water, and other necessities. Make sure everyone in your home knows where to find it.

  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed, if possible. Food will stay good up to four hours.

  • Do not drive over or go near a downed power line, it could be energized. Call 311 if you see a downed line to report it. If the line is sparking, call 911.

  • If you see limbs on wires or see downed tree limbs, please call 311 to report them.

Ways to save energy during cold weather:

  • Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower in the winter. Wear warm, comfortable clothing to help stay warm indoors instead of adjusting the thermostat.

  • Keep doors and windows closed to minimize hot air from escaping the home.

  • If you have a fireplace, use it to help heat your home instead of turning up the thermostat. When not in use, make sure your fireplace damper is closed to prevent heat from escaping up the chimney.

  • Switch the setting on ceiling fans to run clockwise at a low speed. This gentle updraft helps push warm air near the ceiling down into your living space.

  • Save energy in the kitchen. Give your oven and wallet a break by using the oven light to check on the food instead of opening the door. Use a slow cooker or microwave instead of the oven. Do not use the oven to heat your home.

  • More information about winter energy savings can be found here.

Ways to Help

  • If you have power, conserve energy to help stabilize the power grid for the rest of our community. Turn off lights, turn down thermostats to 68-degrees, close shades & blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows, turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances, avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).

  • If you live close to a Cold Weather Shelter and would like to volunteer, you can sign up here. Please avoid driving to a shelter to volunteer, as road conditions are hazardous.

  • The Austin Area Urban League has launched an emergency donation drive, called the #LoveThyNeighborTX campaign, to accept monetary donations.

  • Austin's Free Lunch program provides home-cooked meals to people experiencing homelessness. Free Lunch is a business that cooks and delivers meals four days a week to the Esperanza Community, Visit Free ATX Lunch to make a donation.

  • If you want to donate a warm blanket, Front Steps is accepting blankets at their downtown location, or you can order the blanket online and have it shipped directly to the shelter.

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

Updated 02/18/2021

sanantonio.gov


Roadway Conditions

Road conditions remain icy and dangerous. The main lanes of 281 North, Loop 410 NW and Highway 151 are closed. Several highway direct connectors are closed, too. Approximately 40 city streets are closed, 60 traffic signals are out and 18 are flashing. Public Works crews have sprayed sand on 79 bridges to allow them to remain open. Avoid travel unless it is absolutely necessary. Road closure information can be found at this page: https://www.sanantonio.gov/PublicWorks/News-and-Media/Street-Closures Residents are encouraged to report any service issues to 311. 311 will be open today until midnight and will open again tomorrow at 7 a.m. CPS Energy

While power is not completely restored across San Antonio and Texas, CPS Energy’s system has seen significant improvement throughout the day, and the need for statewide outages has been suspended. More than 6,000 customers remain without power, which is primarily related to damaged equipment. CPS crews in the field continue to work hard to restore electricity to all customers. For a map of current outages visit https://outagemap1.cpsenergy.com/ Since the cold and wet weather continues, all CPS Energy users are urged to conserve energy to keep the system stable by lowering thermostats to 68 degrees, unplugging lights and appliances and closing shades and blinds to reduce heat loss. San Antonio Water System

Customers continue to experience water outages in a number of areas; however, water service should be restored in several areas through the evening and tomorrow. For a map of the current outages visit https://www.saws.org/water-outage-map/

  • Stone Oak - Areas south of Knights Cross in Stone Oak should have water service late tonight (Thursday, Feb. 18). Pressure should be good but may not be at full pressure. - Areas north of Knights Cross from Canyon Springs up into Timberwood Park is projected to have water by mid-day Friday, Feb. 19.

  • I-10 Area - Water service should be restored to this area Sunday or Monday.

  • East of U.S. 281 (Evans/Bulverde) - Water service should be restored Friday (Feb. 19) afternoon or evening.

  • Rogers Ranch - Water service should be restored sometime this evening (Feb. 18)

Customers can assist restoration efforts by conserving water and/or managing/repairing any leaks on their property to help maintain water pressure in our system. SAWS water bill relief San Antonio Water System today announced a bill relief program that will help all customers of the city-owned utility. Effective immediately, SAWS will put in place a process to charge ALL customers the lower of two amounts on their next bill: either the total current charges for the current month, or last month’s current charges, whichever is lower. Food Delivery to Vulnerable Residents The San Antonio Police Department is working with the San Antonio Food Bank to deliver food to elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents who lack transportation options to leave their homes. Please call 311 to request assistance. Road closures and weather conditions may affect delivery times. Permitting for Repairs / Scam Warnings

  • ­­­­­­Property owners or licensed plumbers do not require a permit for minor emergency repairs on freeze-damaged or leaking water pipes provided new piping doesn't exceed 5 feet in length.

  • A plumbing permit is required if multiple water pipes are broken, generally affecting entire home plumbing system and plumbing fixtures. Additionally, permits are required for any repairs to gas lines or gas systems.

  • Where permits are required, the emergency repairs can be completed before the permit is obtained. The permit shall be submitted to the Development Services Department on the next business day once all emergency repairs are completed by a licensed plumbing contractor.

  • Beware of fraudulent, unqualified contractors or that come from all over the country looking for vulnerable consumers. To check if a contractor is registered with the city, visit sanantonio.gov/DSD, and the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners

  • For any questions regarding plumbing and gas permits and inspections, please feel free to contact Chief Plumbing Inspector David Rohde at 210-207-8279, Sr. Plumbing Inspector Ted Morales at 210-260-5912.

  • Homeowners should visit their insurance policies for coverage for the cost of repairing pipes. Some policies also reimburse for the cost of spoiled food.

OTHER CITY UPDATES San Antonio International Airport

  • Passenger safety remains the number one priority at San Antonio International Airport (SAT). The SAT airfield is currently closed due to continued inclement weather. Runways will be monitored to assess safety conditions and will reopen as soon as possible.

  • Check flight status with your airline before leaving for the airport. Check SAT Twitter and Facebook social media accounts @SATairport for updates.

Department of Human Services

  • The Department of Human Services (DHS), in coordination with providers, has continued to conduct on the ground outreach to those experiencing homeless to encourage people experiencing unsheltered homelessness to access available shelter options. If you see a homeless person sleeping on the ground in severe weather, please call 911.

  • Homeless shelter information is available here: https://www.facebook.com/sarahomeless

Parks and Recreation

  • The following San Antonio Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed to the public on Friday, February 18 due to inclement weather: Community Centers (including the drive-thru supper and snack meal service), Barrera Fitness Center, Reservation Desk at Ron Darner Headquarters, Fairchild and McFarlin Tennis Centers, and the San Antonio Natatorium. Fitness in the Park classes are canceled.

Solid Waste Management Department

  • On Friday, February 19 garbage collections will resume. Garbage routes from Tuesday have already been partially collected. Those remaining collections will be completed first followed by Wednesday collection routes and then Thursday’s. Garbage collections will continue through Saturday and possibly Sunday.

  • PLEASE NOTE: The Department is requesting that customers do not place extra bags of garbage beside their brown carts. There will be NO recycling or organics collected this week. All drop-off centers will also open at 10:00 am on Friday. The HHW special event at the Rigsby location has been postponed.

San Antonio Public Library

  • All San Antonio Library locations will be closed on Friday, February 19. Contact-Free Pickup and computer appointments will not be available.

Office of the City Clerk

  • Drawing for ballot placement has been postponed to Monday, February 22 at 2 p.m.

RECEIVE THE LATEST WEATHER INFORMATION FROM THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO AND BEXAR COUNTY

  1. Download the Ready South Texas app, available in the iTunes and Google Play stores

  2. Text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates

  3. Follow @COSAGOV on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

  4. Bookmark www.sanantonio.gov

  5. Follow other partner agencies on social media:

  • SAPD: https://twitter.com/SATXPolice

  • SAFD: https://twitter.com/SATXFire

  • TxDOT San Antonio: https://twitter.com/TxDOTSanAntonio

  • CPS Energy: https://twitter.com/cpsenergy

  • SAWS: https://twitter.com/MySAWS

  • VIA Metropolitan Transit: https://twitter.com/VIA_Transit



HOUSTON, TEXAS

Updated 02/18/2021

houstontx.gov


Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that the City of Houston will host a water distribution site beginning at 11:30 a.m., Friday, February 19 at Delmar Stadium, 2020 Mangum Rd.


The drive-thru location will provide bottled water to individuals who need water while the city remains on a boil water notice or because they lack water at home due to frozen pipes.


As many Houstonians continue to be without water or lack power to boil drinking water, Mayor Sylvester Turner has directed bottled water to be distributed citywide, at no cost, through City council member district offices.

Please contact your district council member's office for the most updated information on bottled water distribution sites. Find your council member here: http://www.houstontx.gov/council/.


During a boil water advisory, food service establishments operations shall cease unless they can comply with the guidance available at the this link: http://bit.ly/HHDWaterBoil.


City Updates

  • Administration and Regulatory Affairs (ARA)

  • 3-1-1 continues to be operational. Those experiencing homelessness or who are medically dependent on power may call 3-1-1 for assistance.

  • Houston BARC is temporarily closed due to weather.


METRO

  • METRO will resume additional services Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. As the routes resume service, customers should prepare for possible delays and detours due to road conditions. More at http://ridemetro.org.


Houston Municipal Courts

  • Houston Municipal Courts will reopen for regular business hours at 8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 18, 2021.


Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities

  • The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities is partnering with Crowd Source Rescue to deliver bottled water to people with disabilities who don’t have access to reliable transportation. We want to make sure that no one gets left behind, especially the most vulnerable populations. You can sign up for delivery here: crowdsourcerescue.org/freeze


Houston Public Libraries

  • HPL TO GO curbside services available at select library locations were suspended during the Library’s closure. Customers with pending appointments on Monday and Tuesday will be notified to reschedule for a future date.

  • Customer holds for books and materials will be extended.

  • Beginning Saturday, February 13, 2021, the Central Garage will be closed for repairs, until further notice.


Houston Health Department

  • The Houston Health Department will resume COVID-19 vaccinations this weekend with 4,784 second dose appointments on Saturday and Sunday, February 20-21. Read the full news release: http://bit.ly/2ZtFSLT

Protective Measures

The 4 Winter Weather P’s


People

  • People should wear layers of clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.

  • Stay inside and off the roads as much as possible when temperatures drop.

  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who may be susceptible to this week’s cold weather and/or not have access to housing and heating, including the elderly and those with access and functional needs.

  • Avoid overexertion, as cold weather puts added strain on your body.

  • The Coalition for the Homeless coordinates information for partner agencies and the general public and maintains an updated list of those resources for individuals who may be experiencing homelessness: https://www.homelesshouston.org/help-card-shelters

Pets

  • Pets should be brought indoors and provided with a warm place to sleep.

  • Pets, like humans, are vulnerable to cold temperatures. If not taken care of properly, they can succumb to frostbite and even hypothermia.

  • Normal water supplies will likely freeze over including stock ponds and lakes.

  • If your pet looks like it has any symptoms resembling frostbite or hypothermia, call your vet.

Pipes

  • Pipes that run outside or under a house should be wrapped in pipe insulation to avoid cracks due to water freezing in them.

  • Pipes that are in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing.

  • You can also cover your pipes with towels, duct tape or another adhesive strip as long as they are wrapped tightly.

  • Do NOT drip your faucets, this will cause low water pressure to our City. Instead, you can open cabinet doors under sinks to make sure they stay warm. 

  • In some cases, the best course of action may be to shut off water to a structure and drain pipes overnight when water usage is low to avoid pipes freezing and bursting.

Plants

  • Plants may need to be covered or brought inside to avoid frost damage.

  • When wrapping outdoor plants, use a breathable material such as a cloth, blanket, or old sheet.

  • Be sure to group plants that are in containers together, and near your home if moving them inside is not an option.

  • Remember that soil in containers can get just as cold as the air temperature and cause the roots to freeze.



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