Becerra's disaster declaration is set to last for seven days, but could be extended or terminated before then. According to a news release, it will remain active until the winter weather conditions clear.
“In collaboration with emergency management services in the community, we determined that weather-related conditions pose a significant threat to Hays County citizens and their property,” Becerra said in the release. “Out of an abundance amount of caution, we will take measures to ensure the highest level of response and safety. Thanks to the outpouring of support by our staff and community, we stand vigilant during this time.”
On Feb. 12, Gov. Greg Abbott declared a statewide disaster declaration. President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state Feb. 14 and also ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts, according to a news release.
Biden's declaration also authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster-relief efforts and identify, mobilize, and provide equipment and resources. Emergency protective measures for mass care and sheltering and direct federal assistance will be provided at 75% federal funding, the release said.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has also entered emergency conditions and initiated rotating outages in the early hours of Feb. 14 due to extreme demand, an ERCOT news release said.
"Every grid operator and every electric company is fighting to restore power right now," said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness in the release.
ERCOT, which manages the flow of electricity to more than 26 million Texans, also said rotating outages could be initiated until the winter weather emergency ends.
Statewide ERCOT rolling power outages have begun. SMEU customers are broken into 5 groups across SM and each group should expect to experience periodic outages. Power has been returning in about an hour or less. To report power being off past an hour please call 512.393.8313.
— San Marcos (@CityofSanMarcos) February 15, 2021
San Marcos issued its own emergency declaration Feb. 13 and also urged drivers to stay off roads due to the weather and high number of car crashes on I-35.
The Feb. 16 San Marcos City Council meeting has been postponed until Feb. 24. The budget policy workshop was also rescheduled and is planned for Feb. 26.
The city of Buda has also issued a disaster declaration and provided residents with tips on how to protect their pipes, pets and plants from the cold.
Buda is asking residents to conserve water due to a power loss at the Guadalupe-Blanco river Authority.
The city of Kyle is asking residents to suspend any unnecessary water usage until further notice due to a shortage.
City of Kyle is asking that all water use be suspended until further notice.
Due to a loss of power at @GBRATX and locally, we are close to running out of water supply in #KyleTX.
Power outages will continue in the area. For info and updates, visit https://t.co/oseG3kNwnH pic.twitter.com/Lp3ceYkWTY
— City of Kyle (@CityofKyleTX) February 15, 2021
A list of organizations throughout Hays County has been compiled for those in need or resources. People may also donate money or materials to aid neighbors trying to stay warm.
The following tips for reducing the load on the grid were provided by Hays County as well:
- Set thermostats to 68 degrees.
- Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
- Turn off and unplug nonessential lights and appliances.
- Avoid using large appliances such as washers and ovens.
San Marcos Paratransit and fixed routes for The Bus will not Feb. 15. Interurban 1517 and 1510 are also canceled for Monday.
San Marcos The Bus fixed routes and Paratransit will not run today (2/15) due to the weather. The San Marcos Station will not be open today.
Interurban 1517 will not run today (2/15) or Tuesday (2/16).
Interurban 1510 will not run today (2/15). pic.twitter.com/2J7057QdTC
— San Marcos (@CityofSanMarcos) February 15, 2021
Texas State University canceled all classes until at least 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17. The cancellation also includes virtual and online classes and events.
#TXST will be closed through Wednesday, February 17, at 8am due to inclement weather. Only designated essential personnel should report to work on the campuses.
Faculty are asked to communicate with their students directly on any alternate class plans.https://t.co/4GFyyi8vy7
— Texas State (@txst) February 14, 2021
Hays CISD announced its classes will be 100% virtual for the remainder of the week, with in-person learning expected to resume Feb. 22.
UPDATE: Hays CISD will remain 100% asynchronous, virtual learning for the remainder of the week. In-person learning for those who have selected that choice will resume on Monday, February 22, 2021. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/CvJB5jAAlv
— HaysCISD.ADM (@HaysCISD) February 15, 2021
San Marcos CISD has canceled all classes for Feb. 16 due to issues with power outages and internet connectivity. The district will monitor the weather and make a decision Tuesday about classes on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
H-E-B has changed store hours at many of its locations.
As the winter weather continues, many of our stores have updated hours today, 2/15, and will be opening later than usual. Please check https://t.co/AYVBihH5KB for the most updated information.
— H-E-B (@HEB) February 15, 2021
Hays County offices, parks and recycling centers will be closed Feb. 16.
Curative COVID-19 testing sites will be closed until Thursday, but may stay closed longer if weather conditions do not improve.
Vaccine appointments are being rescheduled by the county as well.