The initial state of disaster was signed on Feb. 14 by Mayor Josh Schroeder. In order to extend the declaration beyond day seven, it needed a council vote, city officials said.
Under this declaration, the mayor is designated as the emergency management director for the city.
The mayor has the power to:
- Evacuate all or part of the population of an area of the city that has been stricken or is threatened if necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation;
- Prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destinations in connection with an evacuation; and
- Control entering and leaving of a disaster area and the movement of person and the occupancy of premises in the area.
“Generally speaking, the mayor or his designee has the same power as the governor, just scaled to a local level,” said Jack Daly, community services director for the city of Georgetown.
Daly added that this is a similar declaration that was declared in March for the coronavirus pandemic.
The reason for the extension is to allow ample time for the city to collect costs and seek assistance where needed, Daly said.
“Our response to this disaster is not going to end when the boil-water notice lifts, “ Daly said. “There’s a lot of debris out there and infrastructure repair and management that will need to be done in the coming weeks.”
The extension of the disaster declaration is separate from the city’s Feb. 21 request that residents conserve water and the temporary prohibition of excess water use, city officials said. In this, washing vehicles including commercial car wash facilities were prohibited from operating.
"The disaster declaration is about our emergency response to the storm. The water conservation limits ... [are] in place to help our water system fully recover," said Beth Wade, social media and marketing coordinator for the city of Georgetown.
The water conservation mandates go into effect at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 through 11:59 p.m. Feb. 24.