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City of Yorktown working to fix winter weather problems

Winter weather in south Texas has brought more than unfavorable outside conditions. Many people have been without electricity since early Monday morning. That has especially been true for the residents of Yorktown.

As of yesterday, Feb. 15, the Lower Colorado River Authority dispatched this message to local officials: The ERCOT grid is still at a critical stage in trying to meet the load demand. Current ERCOT generation is at 48,000 MW capacity and forecasts are predicting approximately 70,000 MW in generation to meet demand. Projections do not appear to get any better through the night or tomorrow. Please appeal to your citizens and businesses to not use power and conserve in any way possible. We need additional load reductions.”

AEP Texas, which covers Yorktown electricity, issued the following statement yesterday, Feb. 15: “Please bundle up, multiple layers of clothes and extra blankets, as much as possible. If you have power, consider allowing friends who don’t have power, to come stay with you for the evening. DeWitt County Office of Emergency Management, local and county officials have been in discussions throughout the day with AEP, state and public utility officials trying to get assistance for the Yorktown area. While we still encourage people to stay off of the roadways due to slick conditions between Cuero and Yorktown, there are hotel rooms available in Cuero, at your own expense.”

It is possible that more information from AEP will be available tomorrow or Thursday, per the release from the DeWitt County Office of Emergency Management. Cyndi Smith, DeWitt County Office of Emergency Management coordinator, noted that Yorktown Nursing & Rehabilitation Center has emergency power, and the City water is getting short time of power.

“We are working on blankets and snacks to be distributed today [Feb. 16] when we get everything in,” Smith said.

“Due to extended outages, the City’s water wells and water pumps have not been able to replenish the City’s water tower,” as stated on the City’s Facebook page. The level of water in the tower has dropped to levels not sufficient enough to produce water pressure. This is city-wide. The City is working with AEP and other officials to resolve the issues. They have not been provided with an estimated time on when power is to be restored.”

Due to low distribution pressure, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has required the City of Yorktown public water system to notify all customers to boil their water prior to consumption. This includes washing hands/face, brushing teeth and drinking. Children, seniors, and persons with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria, and all customers should follow these directions.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, individuals may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the public water system officials will notify customers that the water is safe for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

Once the boil water notice is no longer in effect, the public water system will issue a notice to customers that rescinds the boil water notice in a manner similar to this notice.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact John Barth at 361-564-2611 or 361-571-1097.

One portion of the City has maintained electricity (West side), however this may not be the case going forward into the afternoon. They urge the public to conserve water to assist in alleviating the massive water demand they are currently experiencing.

City crews are flushing hydrants to help move water along throughout the City distribution mains and to remove ice blockages in those water mains. They advise the public to continue to expect rolling blackouts.

“The City is working diligently and around the clock to assist in restoring both water and electrical utilities,” Barth said. “We advise our citizens to continue to expect rolling blackouts. We appreciate the efforts and cooperation of our citizens in this trying time.”

DeWitt County Today

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