Friday, February 4, 2022

City of Austin, Travis County Declare Local State of Disaster for Winter Storm


Update on City Operations in Response to Severe Winter Weather

Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown have issued a local state of disaster for both the City of Austin and Travis County in response to severe winter weather conditions that occurred this week.

“I want to thank all the community partners, emergency services personnel, and governmental entities that came together and responded quickly and efficiently to this winter weather event," said Travis County Judge Andy Brown. "I also want to thank the public for heeding the warnings and preparing in advance of this storm. Because of everyone’s efforts, we were able to minimize the effects and focus our efforts on the most vulnerable.

“This disaster declaration will allow us to continue our winter weather response over the next several days, as we look to transitioning to recovery efforts. In the meantime, I encourage the public to stay safe and attempt to limit travel, especially when temperatures drop below freezing again at night, so our recovery crews can safely address roadway needs.”

City of Austin Declaration of Disaster
Travis County Declaration of Disaster

"This declaration gives the City the ability to position itself and be reimbursed the costs of the shelters, supplies, and personnel necessary to keep our community safe and warm,” said Mayor Steve Adler. “This declaration is also a recognition of yet another extreme weather event and the inspiring response of a community that continues to come together to help one another.”

The Austin-Travis County Emergency Operations Center is actively coordinating the City and County response to the winter storm. The latest information on conditions, sheltering, and safety recommendations can be found at Updates are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, Burmese, Urdu, Arabic, French, Hindi, and Pashto.

With freezing temperatures still expected for the next few days, residents are urged to maintain awareness of icy roadways, fire and carbon monoxide dangers from indoor heating elements, and falling ice. Residents can take the following precautions to minimize falling ice hazards:

· Be constantly aware of your surroundings while outdoors

· Avoid walking under roof overhangs

· Never stand underneath a roof where icicles are present

· Do not place a ladder against a gutter covered with ice when inspecting your property

Updates regarding local conditions will continue to be posted on the City's main social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook), including those of Austin Transportation and Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Updated Operations

Community Shelters
The community shelters housing individuals overnight due to winter conditions are now closed. The Austin Independent School District warming centers have also closed. Shelters for people experiencing homelessness will operate based on weather conditions. Follow Austin HSEM Twitter account for updates about those cold weather shelters.

Austin Animal Center
Austin Animal Center’s normal hours of operations will resume on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Austin Public Library
Austin Public Library operations will resume on Saturday. For locations with Saturday hours, the opening time on Saturday, February 5 will be delayed until 12:00 p.m. All other locations will reopen with normal hours on Monday, February 7.

Austin Public Works and Transportation Departments
While ice is melting, conditions remain slick on sidewalks and roadways and shaded areas may still contain ice. Please use caution, especially as freezing temperatures return this evening. Austin Public Works crews will continue to monitor roadways and bridges that may require treatment to reduce the impact of ice. Their efforts will focus on critical infrastructure and responding to requests from public safety agencies, such as Austin Fire/EMS. Austin Transportation staff has responded to 37 flashing traffic signal outages and two downed stop signs since the onset of the storm and will continue to monitor conditions.

Over the next few days expect to see fallen trees and potholes in our streets, among other impacts to infrastructure. Please report potholes and roadway/sidewalk obstructions to Austin 3-1-1 through the Austin 3-1-1 App. Using the app will help us track these issues more easily and helps reduce call volume for 3-1-1 operators.

Austin Public Health
Austin Public Health will resume providing free COVID-19 Vaccine on Saturday, Feb. 5, at Southeast Library (5803 Nuckols Crossing Rd, Austin, subject to change) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Austin Resource Recovery
Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) customers can call 3-1-1 to request a collection of down tree limbs due to the severe winter weather. ARR crews will assess and collect them within 14 business days. Please have the limbs at the curb ready for collection. Customers should place small branches and yard trimmings in their green composting cart or lawn and leaf bags and set out on their next scheduled collection day. For faster disposal, Austin and Travis County residents can drop off large brush and limbs at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant Monday - Saturday (except tomorrow), 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. without an appointment.

Parks and Recreation Department
In order to preserve ongoing shelter operations, Parks and Recreation Department will keep non-essential recreation centers, museums, cultural centers, and nature facilities closed this weekend (February 5-6). City of Austin golf courses and swimming pools will reopen as temperatures rise above freezing.

Capital Metro
Capital Metro will return to regular service on Saturday, Feb. 5. Use Capital Metro’s Trip Planner to find your best options to get around.

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