UPDATE 2 | SATURDAY | FEBRUARY 20, 2021
A deep freeze or also known as an extreme winter event hit the State of Texas in February, causing power outages and water shortages. The power company was warned to start winterizing their equipment to protect against power outages but it occurred anyway and many have frozen to death in their homes, cars and outside of their residences as they try to warm themselves.
RESOURCES – INCIDENT COOPERATORS
Austin Police Department
“I know there are so many people doing similar things right now, from healthcare workers to utility workers, to fire and EMS workers. But man, when you see it so blatantly in front of your face – the sacrifices people are making to help others and save lives – it really is a gut-punch of reality. Please remember to be kind and patient with one another as we all try to get through these last few days of snow.” – APD Detective Cunningham (Facebook page)
Austin Fire Department
When there is a call in the middle of an extreme winter event, they go out 24/7.
Personnel and equipment have been dispatched to many incidents, including broken pipes, major water calls, structure fires, challenges to low water pressure, frozen water hydrants, and a water shortage, but they must still respond.
In the last 24 hours, they have responded to 64 collisions with one rescue, 16 wires arcing or down, 26 public assist calls, 191 alarm activations, two fires, 168 broken water pipe calls with a total of 9-1-1 calls for service within their service area at 1,086 and 296 outside of their jurisdiction in Travis County. A normal average within a 24-hour period is between 300-500 calls.
Dispatched calls are handled through their department and EMS through the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services, as well as partnering with the Austin Police Department.
Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services
During the winter storm event, field and communications medics worked multiple 12 and 24-hour shifts, covered extra shifts to help their members, stayed overnight at stations, provided transportation for each other to and from work, checked on each other and their families.
They responded to 6,058 calls for service, 187 environmental exposures, 519 falls and 115 traffic collisions with injuries.
The Austin EMS Association also gets a big shoutout for all as they went into a mobilization immediately at the beginning of the storm to support their Medics. They began a fundraiser to deliver hot food and other relief to their members with a goal of $5,000 but they succeeded by ten times as much and paid it forward for additional agencies in other areas.
They successfully delivered 1,800 meals to ATCEMS Medics, Austin FD crews and APD personnel, as well as other First Responder organizations. Food also was delivered to area hospital staff, shelters warming centers. Some of the food was sent to Central TX First Responders and Copperas Cove and Fayette County.
All of these long hours and tireless efforts are all done on off-duty time as volunteers. Wow! Nice work!
Houston Fire Department
Houston firefighters, cadets and HFD Fire Chief Sam Pena answering the call of the citizens by helping with water distribution and helping their local citizens in need.
Photo Credit | Houston FD
Spring Fire Department
The Spring FD states they have now weathered through the storm. Station 74 has been a very busy month for personnel, apparatus and equipment.
Texas A&M Forest Service
“Personnel from the McGregor Heart of Texas Task Force deliver some much-needed supplies in North Texas on February 18, 2021.
Yesterday, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Texas and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms beginning on February 11, 2021, and continuing. See the full article on the White House website here –> President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Texas Disaster Declaration | The White House
WHERE TO FIND NEEDED RESOURCES | TX HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
Texas Food Bank Network Provider | Texas Health and Human Services TX Health and Human Services website has a vast variety of services they can extend to their residents that is geared to the Aging, Disabled, Financial/Food/Health/Mental Health needs and other helpful information. Find your nearest food bank to where you are.
AEP Texas reports as of 1800 hours CST on Saturday, that most of their customers have had their power restored with only a few pockets of individual or smaller groups of customers. Some are taking a little longer than expected due to damaged equipment or other challenges. Call #866-223-8508 to report an outage or visit their site at AEPTexas.com or Outages & Problems (aeptexas.com)
Reports of most of their customers’ power has also returned. Here is an outage map. CenterPoint Energy Outage Tracker
Damage Reporting | Polk County
Individuals and Business in Polk County who sustained losses from the winter storm can apply for FEMA assistance by visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585.
Food Bank-Water Distribution Centers | San Antonio
Water Supply | Lake Livingston
Water has been restored to the areas listed in the attachment below; however pressure may fluctuate or possibly drop completely at our tanks due to high demand, main line breaks and leaks on customer lines. Crews are working diligently to keep up with all repairs. Report any watermain breaks at the water tanks. Please see the entire message below.
Comfort Station | Euless
Comfort Station and will remain open Mon-Sat from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sun from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. We welcome those needing access to restrooms, showers or access to water. Please bring your own towels, supplies and water containers. (Posted by Euless Parks and Community Services)
Water Distribution | Lewisville FD
Public Water Stations ExtendedThe two public water stations available on a first-come basis, will be open on Sunday, Feb. 21, and Monday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., each day at the following locations.* Lewisville Animal Services, 995 E. Valley Ridge Blvd.* Lewisville Thrive, 1950 S. Valley Pkwy.Be sure to bring your own containers.Clean water is suitable for all uses, including drinking or bathing.
Water Pressure, Refilling Stations | City of San Angelo
In an effort to help our system regain water pressure and refill our water tanks, Mayor Gunter has asked San Angeloans to try not to use water tonight between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Thank you all for everything you are doing for our community! We appreciate everyone’s assistance in helping conserve water.
Garbage – Refuge Alert || City of San Angelo
San Angelo – Due to high volumes of trash/recycling/bulk, customers may experience delays on pickup. Please leave your bins and items that need to be picked up by the curb or where your collection is usually located and Republic Services will get to it as soon as they can.
(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog – Updated 2/20/2021 2225 PT