Austin’s Top News – February 23, 2021 | KLBJ-AM

Austin Water Update

More Austin Water customers are back in print and service. Austin Water officials say they have exceeded their goal of replenishing and holding at least 100 million gallons of water in their systems. They tweeted starting last night adding more than 122 million gallons. Greg Meszaros of the utility says there is more good news.

“We also removed the notification of boiling water for the majority of our customers,” says Meszaros.

He says the waters in the extreme northwest of the city’s southwest will be tested and hopefully cleared soon.

Burst pipes

The effects of the storm keep the local plumbers very busy. Tyler Blanchard of Radiant Plumbing and Air Conditioning spoke to KVUE and said they had been showered with calls.

“I know we had a pretty hard frost in 2011. But most of these units made it. I think the main thing that made everyone lose power. The blackout was a big deal, you know? No heat to keep these pipes warm, ”says Blanchard.

Austin Fire has responded to more than 2,500 burst pipe calls in the past week and a half. Austin Water has seen more than 100 major water breaks, which is 10 to 20 times the normal for this time of year.

Mayors sign letter to ERCOT

Several Texas Mayors have teamed up to write a letter to ERCOT demanding that the causes of the long power outages of the past week in sub-freezing temperatures be addressed. Austin Mayor Steve Adler is one of them.

“Personally, I think it’s a deregulated market that doesn’t offer any market incentives for the actual weathering,” says Adler.

A total of 15 mayors have signed, including small and large cities in the state. The letter states that the people of Texas deserve answers and reliable energy for their homes.

The end of the rising energy costs after the storms is now the focus of the state legislature.

“We’re going to protect the public on this matter,” said Jane Nelson, chairman of the Senate finance department.

It refers to those Texans who have signed up for wholesale, variable rate energy stores that are now being billed astronomically.

“A man in Arlington took a $ 19,000 bill from his bank account,” says Nelson.

They hope to have the solution to price cuts sometime this week. Senator John Whitmire’s anger is focused on the Gougers.

“A reliable person called me last night and said that the downhole gas and oil producers at the country club value it for caving,” says Whitmire.

HEB replenishment

It was difficult to find much of anything you might need after the storm as the stores continue to deal with empty shelves. HEB’s Mabrie Jackson says her stores are working to replenish inventory as soon as possible.

“Milk is currently obviously a raw material product. a very popular item. Our dairy is moving as fast as possible and many of our distributors have started delivering a lot of dairy products, ”says Jackson.

1,500 grocery-filled trailers were sent to stores this week, but for now, purchases remain limited for things like milk, bread, eggs and water.

Austin teacher on campus

Some Austin School District teachers are upset that they were told to report to campus yesterday and today. Those unable to do so have been asked to fill out a form explaining why. Ken Zarifis of Education Austin tells CBS Austin this is too much to ask teachers at the moment.

“We don’t know what trauma people have gone through, and when we ask them to reveal what problem or struggle they are currently in, I don’t think that this meets people’s needs,” says Zarifis.

The district says working days on campus are required to prepare for distance learning, which begins tomorrow.

COVID-19 vaccine update

Austin Public Health will resume vaccination dates for the second dose today, but officials are not making these locations public. APH also hopes to dispense up to 6,500 doses a day to make up for the time lost last week. Individuals with appointments will be contacted regarding the time and specific location. COVID vaccines resume across central Texas

In Williamson County, Jen Stratton of Family Hospital Systems told FOX 7 that they also have a lot of catching up to do.

“It just wasn’t safe for us to vaccinate last week, so it’s going to be a very busy handful of days while we are caught,” says Stratton.

Family Hospital Systems is the county-approved vaccination center, and around 12,000 missed appointments last week, according to Stratton.

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