East Williamson County cities updated their citizens Wednesday as they struggle through power and water outages in the area.
Taylor, Thrall, Granger and Hutto municipal government officials provided statements early Feb. 17. The area is coping with the aftermath of a winter storm that blew through much of the state Feb. 14. Seven inches of snow fell in Taylor.
Taylor's communication office provided the following update Wednesday morning.
Water: "The city of Taylor currently has water pressure throughout most of the lower pressure plane on the east side of town although there are some houses that still lack water," said the communications office. "There is spotty water pressure through the high plane on the west side of town. BRA (Brazos River Authority) continues to send water our way, and if they can continue pumping everyone in the city should see full water pressure late today. Please be aware that the water supply will be limited to only 1.5 million gallons for the near future, so please take steps to conserve water as much as possible. It is possible that water pressure will go back down once the available water has been consumed. Also, please remember that the City is still under a boil water notice by order of TCEQ. See notice from last night here: http://www.taylortx.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1487."
Power: "Most of the city does have electricity right now. As stores open up, please remember that they have been closed because of the weather, and groceries and fuel will be scarce as the supply chain catches up."
Weather: "Temperatures will continue to fall this morning, and the precipitation on the roads is likely to freeze. Please stay off the roads if at all possible."
"We will continue to keep you updated throughout the day as we learn more information," added communications staff. "Please be sure to follow us on this website and on our social media channels."
As a reminder, Taylor ISD and the Bill Pickett Educational Foundation have partnered to offer a warming center for residents who need a safe, warm place during the day. The Center, which is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, is located in the Taylor ISD Administration building adjacent to the Main Street Intermediate School at 3101 Main St. Residents are encouraged to share this information with their neighbors and friends who are still without power.
Classes at Taylor ISD have been canceled for Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 17-18
The Thrall Police Department relayed a message from Mayor Troy Marx.
"The city wants its residents to know currently we are not charging late fees. The City Hall is closed through Thursday for safety. Please stay home and safe, your water will not be cut off. Your water is off due to the supply from Taylor being disrupted," said Marx. "We will make it through this together. Your City is working very hard behind the scenes to keep the City running as smooth as possible. Your patience is appreciated. If you have neighbors that are not on social media please let them know. We will do a City wide call out once we have more details."
Meanwhile, Thrall ISD has canceled school for the rest of the week.
"This will allow the district to inspect facilities as safety is a top priority," said Superintendent Tommy Hooker. "Thrall ISD is considering what the community has been dealing with such as power outages, water limitations, limited access to supplies, and the aftermath that will be encountered as Central Texas recovers."
Mayor Trevor Cheatheam began giving an update on the community's water situation in the overnight hours.
"All storage tanks have been completely depleted. When power came on at 7 p.m., last night we immediately began pumping water but that water was being used to replenish the water storage and water tower first. Then power turned off yet again at 9 p.m. Now that it has returned around 2 a.m., we are back continuing to refill storage," said Cheatheam. "Water will begin to flow through faucets as storage is filled and as we pump more water the water pressure will improve. The entire process takes about four hours and that's if the power actually stays on. If we lose power again, however, we will immediately be depleting our water storage as our pumps will stop once more."
Progress was being made as the night continued.
Classes at Granger ISD are canceled this week. The district announced Friday's cancelation after this initial post.
On Feb. 15, Manville Water Supply Corporation issued a boil water notice to its customers with running water and recommended conservation measures. The company serves areas south of Taylor such as Coupland, Norman Crossing and Cele. Residents have experienced little to no water pressure. When water returns, the boil water notice is expected to still be in effect. More info here.
As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Coupland ISD was closed at least through the rest of the day.
People in and around the home of the Hippos might begin to experience little to no water pressure. Like many Texans, Hutto citizens have power outages as a result of either weather damage or rolling blackouts authorized by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
"Our crews are making repairs and adjustments to continue to provide water. You will experience low pressure and in some situations no water. We are working diligently to keep the water supply to our residents," said Hutto's municipal government on places like its Facebook page. "In regards to the power outages, the City has no control over where power is restored. This is a statewide issue affecting all power distribution companies. We know this is a challenging time for all of us and we will get through this together. Please be patient as the situation is constantly changing and we will keep you updated as soon as possible."
As of yesterday, Hutto ISD has canceled classes for Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 17-18.
For more Hutto news, visit https://www.facebook.com/thehuttonews.