UPDATED: More than 29K Lake Houston-area residents regain power; Lake Houston Family YMCA opens as warming center

Local resident Rossi Morgan photographed the icy West Lake Houston Parkway in Kingwood the morning of Feb. 17. (Courtesy Rossi Morgan)
Local resident Rossi Morgan photographed the icy West Lake Houston Parkway in Kingwood the morning of Feb. 17. (Courtesy Rossi Morgan)

Local resident Rossi Morgan photographed the icy West Lake Houston Parkway in Kingwood the morning of Feb. 17. (Courtesy Rossi Morgan)

Editor's note: Do you know of a local warming center we missed? Let us know by emailing us at [email protected] so we can add it to this article.

Updated 11 a.m. Feb. 19

The Lake Houston Family YMCA is open Feb. 19 as a warming center for local families looking for reprieve from power outages or water loss, according to a Feb. 19 news release. The YMCA, which is located at 2420 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Kingwood, will be open to the community from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 19.

The facility joins a list of several other YMCA locations across the Houston area operating as a warming centers. This is the first and last day the Lake Houston Family YMCA will open as a warming center, as the news release stated it is the last day the YMCA of Greater Houston will open as centers.

According to the news release, the YMCA will monitor and limit capacity per location to follow COVID-19 health guidelines.

Although the Humble Civic Center is no longer a warming center, Harris County Precinct 4 will be distributing water from the center between noon-5 p.m. Feb. 19. Click here for more information.

Tens of thousands of power outages across the Lake Houston area have been resolved since Feb. 17, according to outage maps from Entergy and CenterPoint Energy. As of 10:30 a.m. Feb. 19, fewer than 200 homes are without power in the seven ZIP codes that comprise Community Impact Newspaper's Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood coverage area.

ZIP codes 77338 in Humble and 77339 in the western portion of Kingwood have the most remaining outages, with 159 and 25 affected customers, respectively.

Originally posted 6:55 p.m. Feb. 17

As Winter Storm Uri rages on, more than 29,600 Lake Houston-area residents continue to experience unplanned power outages as of Feb. 17, according to power outage maps from Entergy and CenterPoint Energy, Texas' two main electricity providers. Only 667 of the outages in the area are Entergy customers, with the rest being CenterPoint Energy outages.

As of 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17, 29,644 residents across the seven ZIP codes in Community Impact Newspaper's Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood coverage area—77044, 77338, 77339, 77345, 77346, 77365 and 77396—are without power. The numbers fluctuate every few hours; more than 26,000 customers regained power between 2-3:30 p.m. and about 14,800 customers lost power between 3:30-6:30 p.m., according to outage maps.

With the widespread outages, Harris and Montgomery counties, the city of Houston and the state of Texas began opening warming centers to keep local residents safe amid freezing temperatures. However, among the four mentioned agencies, only a handful of centers were operating in Humble, Kingwood, Atascocita, Summerwood, Fall Creek, Porter and New Caney areas as of Wednesday afternoon.

Local resources

Humble City Manager Jason Stuebe said via email the city opened its own warming shelter at the Humble Civic Center on Feb. 17 to give local residents reprieve from areas without electricity. He said it will likely be open for several more hours but will not be open overnight. There was not word as of press time whether it will reopen Feb. 18.

"Unfortunately, we do not have the resources (manpower or supplies) to staff something like this 24/7. That is why we rely on [Harris] County as part of their Emergency Management Plan," he said.

Lamb of Gob Lutheran Church at 1400 FM 1960 Bypass Road E., Humble, opened Feb. 16 as a warming center for the city of Humble, according to Facebook posts from the church. Church officials said via Facebook messenger that the church is open Feb. 17, will remain open 24 hours and will be open to the community again on Thursday, Feb. 18.

Community Impact Newspaper reached out to Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin's office, which represents District E in Kingwood, for information on whether a warming center is open or will open in the Kingwood area. A comment was not returned by press time, but this post will be updated with more information if it becomes available.

Montgomery County resources

Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management opened several locations across Montgomery County, but many are located along I-45 or in the Conroe area, Community Impact Newspaper reported.

Montgomery County Precinct 4 and the MCOHSEM prepared two buses to provide mobile warming stations as well as opened a warming center at the East Montgomery County Community Center in Splendora on Feb. 16, according to a Facebook post from Montgomery County Precinct 4 Commissioner James Metts. The community center is at 16401 First St., Splendora.

While local residents without water can also use the showers at the community center, Metts stated in a Feb. 16 and 17 Facebook post that it is not a 24-hour shelter and it will only remain open until 9 p.m.

Statewide resources

The Texas Department of Emergency Management released a map of warming centers. However, the nearest center to the Lake Houston area is the National Association of Christian Churches at 16605 Air Center Blvd., Houston, according to the map.

However, due to continuing power and water outages, not all of the listed locations were necessarily still operational, Community Impact Newspaper reported. As of the afternoon of Feb. 17, the Houston Texas YMCA posted on Facebook it was closed through Feb. 18, and the George R. Brown Convention Center was reportedly at capacity, according to a Twitter post by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Feb. 16.

Harris County residents can call 3-1-1 for information on the nearest available shelter.
By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.


As variants are isolated and identified, Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass believes the vaccines available can handle identified variants (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'The vaccines we have are effective against all the variants out there': Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass discusses variants, vaccinations

As Houston Methodist identified its first case of the lambda variant July 19, Dr. Glass believes vaccines can handle known variants.

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

port of houston
Port of Houston sets new diversity standards for business contracts

The port is joining a growing number of local and regional bodies interested in updating policies to increase participation from minority and women-owned businesses.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is pleading with residents to be more vigilant, asking all residents to start wearing masks again in indoor settings and asking those who are vaccinated to urge their friends who are not to get the shot. (Screenshot Courtesy Facebook)
Harris County raises coronavirus threat level as Hidalgo asks all residents to mask up indoors

Although those who are vaccinated are very unlikely to end up in the hospital, officials said wearing masks in certain situations could help reduce transmissions to the more susceptible unvaccinated.

A COVID-19 vaccine dose is administered to a person's arm
Montgomery County sees July increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

Active COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County climbed above 1,000 for the first time in two months, just after June recorded the lowest active cases since 2020.

Come out to a family-friendly market complete with separate bounce houses for toddlers and older children, a sack race and an egg-on-the-spoon race. (Courtesy Kotour Event)
Attend a musical, support young athletes: 20 events, things to do in the Lake Houston area throughout July, August

Here are a few events and things to do in the Lake Houston area throughout the months of July and August.

Get Well Clinic's new location in Humble offers pediatric and family medicine in addition to flu shots, vaccines and physicals. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Get Well Clinic's new Humble location offers pediatric care

Medical provider Get Well Clinic celebrated the grand opening of its new location on June 15 at 19020 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Humble.

A project to expand Lockwood Road between Beltway 8 and the Union Pacific Corp. railroad from two to four lanes has been paused while county officials review the potential to modify the design, said Victoria Bryant, assistant director of Harris County Precinct 4’s Infrastructure Division. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lockwood Road expansion project put on pause

Construction on the project, which was initially slated to begin in the third quarter of 2020, was previously delayed due to utility conflicts.

Memorial Hermann has locations throughout the Greater Houston area, including Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center. (Courtesy Memorial Hermann)
Memorial Hermann visiting policies change as COVID-19 cases rise

As of July 21, Memorial Hermann has changed its visitor policy in light of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Greater Houston area.

Houston launches revamped 3-1-1 system

City staff have been in the process of updating the system over the last nine months.

Contractors reported material shortages in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey released June 17. (Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lake Houston area housing market sees low inventory, high-prices

Locally, home sales increased in all seven Lake Houston-area ZIP codes from June 2020-May 2021 compared to the year prior, according to Houston Association of Realtors data. Additionally, the average home sold for $20,000-$30,000 more over the past year than it did the year prior, and the average time spent on the market was shortened by 20 days.