City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City of Austin and Travis County have made progress on recovery efforts, with utility services being gradually restored.
Austin, TX – City of Austin and Travis County continues to make progress with recovery efforts from the series of winter storms that hit the area over the past week.
While emergency response calls have returned to normal levels, utility services are gradually being restored. In response to ongoing efforts, City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler extended the Winter Weather Event order requiring manufacturing, industrial, or commercial business to minimize or halt non-essential processes and operations to the greatest extent possible to minimize energy demand.
The disaster declaration for Austin remains in effect to ensure the community can continue to tap into every local, state, and federal resource available to help Austinites through this crisis.
Water Utility Restoration
As the City remains under a boil-water notice, Austin Water utility crews have continued to make progress through the day to restore water to customers. Currently, the reservoir system continues to fill getting us closer to restoring water to our customers. The largest impacts remain for far North and South customers. However, we expect if trends continue, and with the help sustained conservation efforts, Austin Water could potentially restore service city-wide as early as this weekend.
Austin Water will provide updates twice a day on system water usage and current storage capacity on Facebook and Twitter, and has created an outage map for customers to see where services are impacted. Additionally, customers can report outages by calling 512-972-1000 or reporting with the online form.
The Austin-Travis County Emergency Operations Center (A-TCEOC) continues with water distribution plans. Limited water supplies have been arriving in Austin throughout the day. To get the supplies out as quickly as possible, a priority has been placed on serving critical needs first.
A-TCEOC is implementing a phased water distribution plan which is currently underway:
- Phase I - Critical facilities, Shelters, Warming Centers, COVID-19 Isolation Facilities/Protection Lodges, Medical Facilities, First Responders
Initial distribution of the water supply started in the afternoon of Feb. 19 and began distributing water to those with the most critical need. Some of these locations include cold weather shelters and warming centers, COVID-19 isolation facilities, medical facilities, as well first responder locations. Distribution efforts continue throughout the evening, which will push into activating Phase 2 efforts.
- Phase II - Vulnerable Populations
As Phase 1 efforts continue, full distribution will be fully underway to vulnerable populations such as seniors, home-bound residents, and those with medical or other special needs into Saturday. To help speed up distribution efforts, A-TCEOC is coordinating Phase 2 distribution with various community partners including Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN), Capital Metro, and others.
- Phase III – General Public Distribution
Phase 3 is anticipated to begin distribution to the general public Sunday morning, with specific details on finalized locations being released Saturday. The goal is to have a Point of Distribution (POD) site within each City Council District and key locations in Travis County. A priority is being placed on establishing safe and easily accessible POD sites in each district. As sites come online, they will operate from sun up to sun down, and anticipate being able to provide one case of water per pick-up.
Individuals who are able to purchase water, are strongly encouraged to do so, in order to provide water to those who are in most need.
Austin Energy Restoration
Austin Energy crews continue to work quickly but safely to restore power to many customers around the City. As of Feb. 19, nearly 97 percent of customers had power restored. The remaining customers are potentially impacted by downed power lines from the winter storm. Full restoration may take several more days.
Customer who observe downed powerlines should stay away from it and report fallen lines by calling call 512-322-9100.
As of this afternoon, Austin Transportation reports that 80 percent of traffic signals are operational. Street and Bridge crews will continue to monitor road conditions, and sand overnight as needed with another night of below freezing temperatures is expected.
Citizens can report potholes, obstructions – such as downed trees in the roadway or sidewalk, using the Austin 3-1-1 mobile app. Using the app helps Public Works track these reports and reduces call volume for 3-1-1 operators. or call 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 for support.
Trash Pick-up Services
All Austin Resource Recovery services have been suspended until Monday. While ARR crews have attempted to resume service, road conditions remained unsafe. For the safety of crews and the Austin community, the decision to suspend the remainder of collections that were scheduled to resume today and over the weekend.
City Resources and Information
Individuals who are looking for available City and County resources, as well as other community resources can visit austintexas.gov/weatherinfo or austintexas.gov/infoclimatica for Spanish. City and County departments will also continue to provide updates on social media channels.