Lakeway City Council extends disaster declaration for Texas winter storm

A disaster declaration issued by the city is in place to ease damage claims made by area residents, according to Mayor Sandy Cox. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
A disaster declaration issued by the city is in place to ease damage claims made by area residents, according to Mayor Sandy Cox. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

A disaster declaration issued by the city is in place to ease damage claims made by area residents, according to Mayor Sandy Cox. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

In the wake of the unprecedented winter storm that dumped freezing rain and more than a foot of snow on the Lakeway area during a week in mid-February, Lakeway City Council on March 1 unanimously approved extending a disaster declaration for the city.

Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox first declared a disaster within the city limits Feb. 26. The disaster declaration will make it easier for residents to file insurance and other kinds of claims to cover damages resulting from the storm, she said.

During the meeting, Cox said she would keep the disaster declaration in place as long as Gov. Greg Abbott keeps a similar declaration in place for the state of Texas. Abbott issued a disaster declaration for the state Feb. 12. Travis County Judge Andy Brown issued a disaster declaration for the county Feb. 14.

“When the disaster order for the state is pulled back, then that’s the time when we pull ours back,” she said during a report to City Council members.

In a report posted to its web site, the National Weather Service stated the South-Central region of Texas saw unprecedented winter weather Feb. 10-18. The weather service reported 7.5 inches of snow in Lakeway the morning of Feb. 15. As a result of the storm, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has declared residents in more than 100 counties in Texas, including Travis, eligible for federal assistance, according to a FEMA press release issued Feb. 26.


In other business, City Council voted to renew a $5,000 interlocal agreement with the Central Texas Water Coalition to advocate for the Highland Lakes. Of specific interest to the group is the amount of water, measured in acre-feet, retained in lakes Buchanan and Travis and the amount of water that inflows into those lakes from area creeks and rivers, according to a presentation to City Council made by CTWC President Jo Karr Tedder.

The group actively makes requests for information on this topic from the Lower Colorado River Authority, which manages the lakes and dams along the lower Colorado River.

“The lake is real important to Lakeway,” Cox said. “Growth is extreme out here, and we want to make sure we have a plan.”

Lakeway City Council also approved an interlocal agreement with Lake Travis ISD to provide dispatch services for the school district’s new police department. Lakeway police will provide the service at a cost of as much as $35,950 until the end of the fiscal year 2021-22.

Finally, the city approved amending its subdivision code to specifically refer to its comprehensive plan, thoroughfare plan, and parks and open space master plan when approving plats. Under the new language, plats must conform to these three guiding documents, and street designs must adhere to the comprehensive and thoroughfare plans.
By Greg Perliski

Editor, Lake Travis/Westlake & Northwest Austin

Greg joined Community Impact as an editor in November 2020. In the communities he covers, Greg reports on local government, transportation, real estate development and business. He has written for newspapers, online publications and corporate communications teams. Greg earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.