Winter Storm Updates - Feb 2021

Update - 2/19

We are working with our government and nonprofit partners to provide information to the business community, and as a result of this partnership, we've created a consolidated winter storm and recovery resource page. Winter storm resources page for business

The resource page includes quick links for status updates and ways to give back.


What is the status of utilities and infrastructure?

Conservation is still key in helping systems stabilize. 

Austin Water

Austin Energy

Texas Gas Service

Roadways - Watch out for icy conditions tonight

 

What comes next?

We'll have a clearer picture of damage and what is needed for recovery on Monday, and we'll continue to provide resources on next steps as we receive them.

Huge thank you to all our partners and community for coming together this week. We have a long road ahead of us, but we know we can rely on each other to help get there.


Additional winter storm updates for Austin businesses - 2/18

Thank you to everyone who has adjusted their energy consumption - we have heard from the City that this has helped tremendously, and they are actively restoring power as quickly as possible.

What is going on with utilities and infrastructure?

Conservation is still key for all utilities. As we saw yesterday, the Austin Water situation quickly changed and a boil water notice for Austin is still in place

The number of customers without power is decreasing, and this is why it is critical to collectively keep electricity use to a minimum.

There are reports of Austin Energy frontline workers experiencing harassment as they work to restore power. Please help spread the word that these essential workers have been working in dangerous conditions and that a little grace goes a long way.

Texas Gas Service is calling for conservation as demand is still high. 

Travel is still discouraged as roadways are icy. When getting gas, only get what you need to make sure there is a little for everyone. 


What comes next?

Recovery is in its early stages – we still have many without basic services, and we don’t yet have a clear picture of the total damage.

In the February 17 press conference, the Governor discussed the ways the state is dealing with plumbing challenges, including processes to increase the supply of plumbing providers and insurance adjusters.

The City of Austin is also reviewing permitting processes and fees with the goal of expediting the recovery process. 


Winter Storm Update - 2/17

The role the business community plays in reducing energy demand continues to be a vital one. Thank you to everyone who has adjusted their energy consumption.

Our goal is to continue delivering timely updates, specific ways you can help, and additional resources. 


What is going on right now?

It is still critical to reduce energy demand in order to stabilize the statewide energy grid. Those without power will most likely not be restored until at least tomorrow. If you lose power today, report the outage to Austin Energy through 3-1-1, as it is likely due to ice on tree limbs and power lines. 

Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown released supplemental emergency orders yesterday, which: 

  • aim to protect the community from price gouging; 
  • order manufacturing, industrial, & commercial businesses to minimize non-essential use of electricity; and 
  • prohibit athletic facilities & other businesses from using exterior lighting unless it is essential. 

Gov. Greg Abbott is holding a press conference February 17 at 3 p.m. to provide an update on the state’s response to winter weather and power outages.

Austin Water is now asking residents to conserve water. Some customers are experiencing water outages due to frozen water lines and we are seeing increasing instances of boil water notices.

Natural gas continues to be stable, although Texas Gas Service is calling for conservation as demand is still high.  

More warming centers are opening. The below lists are not comprehensive, and some centers may have to temporarily close if they lose power. 

How can businesses help?

Conserve, conserve, conserve. For those with energy, continue to use only what you absolutely need, and do everything you can to reduce your usage, including:  

  • reduce lighting to safety needs - turn off exterior and decorative lighting and any unneeded interior lighting; 
  • adjust thermostats to 68 degrees or lower; and  
  • unplug non-essential equipment. 

The Austin Disaster Relief Network is also taking volunteers to help staff the warming centers. Sign up here.

Where do we go from here?

  • Stay safe. There are reports of carbon monoxide poisoning. Please remind your employees and help spread the word to never use gas stovetops, grills, generators, or leave a car running in an enclosed space. 
  • Keep an eye on your pipes. As we gradually begin to thaw, any pipes that may have frozen might start to leak. KVUE has provided additional tips for protecting pipes.  
  • If you experience a water line break and the property-owner cut-off valve does not work or cannot be located, Austin Water is available to turn off water.
  • Report a problem online 
  • or give Austin Water a call: 512-972-1000 
  • Prevent power surges. As power is restored, continue to keep energy use low to prevent overloading the grid.  

Above all, please stay safe. We are continuing to meet regularly, so please let us know if there is anything we can do. 

Where can I go for more information?

CITY OF AUSTIN  Cold weather information and resources and updates on city services.

AUSTIN ENERGY Current outages maps

AUSTIN WATER Operational updates

COLD WEATHER SHELTERS Updates via Austin Disaster Relief Network

MORE  Cold Weather Resources in English & RECURSOS DEBIDO AL CLIMA FRÍO

 

Energy usage alert: How Austin businesses can help - 2/16


We know there is a role for the business community to play in reducing demand as we work through a state-wide and regional energy emergency. We're here to help by providing the most current information we have.

That’s why the business community is working together so there is a coordinated effort to provide timely updates, specific ways you can help, and resources for additional information. 


What is going on right now?

We have to reduce energy demand in order to maintain a functioning statewide energy grid. These reductions are mandated at the state level by ERCOT. Areas near critical infrastructure – hospitals, public safety, EMS, warming centers, and other critical facilities – are excepted from these mandates and are being kept online. The rest of us are waiting until there is enough energy supply to again meet demand. 

There are growing questions around water supply. Some regional water systems have experienced issues such as boil water notices. Austin Water is currently stable, although some customers are experiencing outages due to frozen water lines. Austin Water is available to turn off water if customers experience a water line break and the property-owner cut-off valve does not work or is unable to be located.

Further reading: Austin American-Statesman's coverage of Texas' winter storm, power crisis 

 

How can businesses help?

If you have energy, only use what you absolutely need and do everything you can to reduce your usage.  

  • Reduce lighting to safety needs - turn off exterior and decorative lighting  
  • Adjust thermostats to 68 degrees or lower  
  • Unplug non-essential equipment 

If you have questions please let us know – we are meeting routinely and will try to address your concerns. 

 

Where can I go for more information? 


CITY OF AUSTIN  Cold weather information and resources and updates on city services.

AUSTIN ENERGY Current outages maps

AUSTIN WATER Operational updates

COLD WEATHER SHELTERS Updates via Austin Disaster Relief Network

MORE  Cold Weather Resources in English & RECURSOS DEBIDO AL CLIMA FRÍO

 

In partnership with:

Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce | Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce | Greater Austin Black Chamber | Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce | Austin Young Chamber

Austin Regional Manufacturers Association | Downtown Austin Alliance | Real Estate Council of Austin

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