It’s been a week since a historic ice storm hit Austin, and the city is still picking up the pieces.
Since thousands woke up without power last Wednesday, Austin Energy mobilized 600+ crew members and restored power to 325,000+ residents. Utility leadership hopes to finish the job — mostly — by Sunday, Feb. 12.
As of Tuesday morning, ~9,000 Austinites were still without power.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration over the weekend for Travis County and six others to help aid in repairing what Austin Energy general manager called “hurricane-level devastation.”
The city is currently working to understand why the storm impacted Austin so severely, as well as what can be done to avoid future catastrophes. In addition to a work session today, City Council plans to evaluate City Manager Spencer Cronk’s employment on Thursday, Feb. 9.
Meanwhile, Austin Energy is gearing up for more inclement weather this week that could hamper restoration efforts. Thunderstorms slated for today and tomorrow could result in additional outages, or at least slow attempts to get people back online.
For now, here’s what you can do.
- Dispose of your debris. Place your downed branches on the curb for collection and call 311 to request Austin Resource Recovery pickup — item limits are currently waived. If you need physical or financial assistance doing this, make a request with the Austin Disaster Relief network. Here are some safety tips.
- If you are without power, make use of emergency shelters, local food distribution centers, or Austin Energy charging stations,
- Donate or volunteer with the Central Texas Food Bank, which is working to provide food for people affected by outages.
- Report damage — with photos and specific language — to the state emergency management division. You may qualify for federal disaster assistance.