The social media accounts we’re following for accurate, up-to-date info on the potential severe weather
Houston faces a threat of severe weather as a slow-moving cold front advances toward central and east Texas Monday. The front will bring storms as well as the risk of heavy rainfall, severe thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes.
Ask 2: Who is responsible for wrapping pipes at a rental property?
As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. Question: Who is responsible for wrapping pipes at a rental property? Landlords, especially in apartment complexes and condominiums, are responsible for making winter weather preparations before a freeze event occurs, such as pipe wrapping and winterizing. If pipes freeze and they burst, it is the landlord’s responsibility to fix the pipes and pay for all damages. According to the Houston Apartment Association, renter’s insurance usually covers water damage from burst pipes and their property inside the rental home.
Here’s how to sign up for coronavirus vaccine waitlists in the Houston area
HOUSTON – Nearly a quarter-million first vaccine doses are headed to the nine-county Houston area this week, including the first Johnson & Johnson shipment, according to state data and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Finally, 42,120 Pfizer doses and 12,000 J & J doses will go directly to the FEMA site at NRG Park where residents on the Harris County and Houston waitlists will be vaccinated. Joining a waitlistThere are 13 vaccine hubs in the Houston area and there are waitlists for each of them. Go to vacstrac.hctx.net or call 832-927-8787 to join the Harris County version of the waitlist. To find information about all of the waitlists for the 13 vaccine hubs in the Houston area, go to dshs.texas.gov.
Houstonians tackle pipe problems themselves as area plumbers are slammed with repairs
HOUSTON – The demand for plumbing services is so high across the Houston area, plumbing companies are working around the clock to get homes repaired. The hard part right now is getting parts. AdThat high demand for plumbers is causing a lot of folks, including Noah’s House and its 44 residents to wait for repairs. “We were able to get a plumber to come out, but we still haven’t gotten a quote back.”The damage to Noah’s House, Jonte said, is upwards of several thousand dollars. Plumbers said while it may be tempting to try to do the work yourself, don’t.
Attorney: Former Negro league baseball player dies of hypothermia in winter storm
HOUSTON – The lawsuits are piling up against the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and Centerpoint Energy after last week’s winter storm. His attorney says he was healthy but with no power and no heat, his attorney said he had no way to survive. The family did everything they could,” said Austin family attorney Larry Taylor. Austin’s family found him dead in his residence Tuesday morning. Our thoughts are with all Texans who have and are suffering due to this past week,” wrote ERCOT spokesperson Leslie Sopko.
Local hotel owner spends $40K out of own pocket to help struggling Houstonians fix busted pipes
“He got five teams together, he put them together and sent them out all over the city of Houston to just help folks for free. He’s been buying the supplies, providing the labor and making sure the employees are paid,” Shim said. AdSo far, they have been able to help about 120 families dealing with busted pipes but one of the biggest issues has been finding supplies. Wang has sent eight to 10 individuals to different stores, Home Depot and plumbing supplies stores just to make sure we could find supplies,” Shim said. According to Shim, they have received over a thousand requests for help and plan on doing what they can as long as supplies are available.
Lawsuit accuses ERCOT, Entergy of gross negligence after Conroe boy dies during frigid weather
The law firm of Houston attorney Tony Buzbee is representing the Pineda family in the lawsuit over the death of 11-year-old Cristian Pineda. Ad“Common sense tells you the weather played a part in his death,” Buzbee said. “What’s interesting about this whole ordeal is what these power providers and ERCOT knew long before many of us knew it,” Buzbee said. Entergy released the following written statement about the lawsuit: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in our community. We are unable to comment due to pending litigation.”AdKPRC 2 has also asked ERCOT for a statement regarding the lawsuit.
Over 14 million Texans still don’t have safe drinking water in their homes
HOUSTON – More than 14 million Texans still do not have safe drinking water in their homes after a powerful winter storm burst pipes and knocked out power across the state this week. Toby Baker, executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, said the number of the state’s 7,000 public water systems affected by the winter storm has increased from Friday to 1,445, but the population affected by those water systems has dropped slightly to 14.3 million. He said about 156,000 homes have no water service at all, which is down from 352,000 reported Friday. Kidd said the state has also ordered 250,000 meals-ready-to-eat to be distributed with another 5 million meals on the way. Kidd said Texans can also help the state complete its damage assessment faster by completing an online form to report damage that their property has sustained.
School districts across Houston area damaged after winter storm
HOUSTON – Busted pipes from winter weather are not just impacting homes, but school districts across Southeast Texas. Maintenance crews in many of those districts are working overtime to access the damage and begin the cleanup process. Cy-Fair, Galveston, Goose Creek, Klein and Fort Bend ISD’s are all dealing with similar situations. Fort Bend ISD hopes to resume normal operations on Monday but that decision won’t be made until Sunday night. AdFort Bend ISD hopes to have a better assessment of the damage tomorrow.
‘Far too burdensome’: Abbott pivots to recovery efforts as winter storm exits Texas
AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday prioritized the restoration of water and power to thousands of Texas homes still left dry and cold after this week’s winter storm. “This past week has been an enormous challenge, maybe unlike any challenge that you’ve ever dealt with before,” Abbott said. “It has been far too burdensome for the lives of all those affected.”Abbott said about 165,000 homes are still without power, mostly in Central Texas. Abbott said he has also requested an emergency declaration from the federal Department of Agriculture to help farmers impacted by the storm.
Beyoncé, Adidas offering up to $1,000 to those impacted by winter storm
HOUSTON – Beyoncé, through her nonprofit BeyGood, and Adidas are partnering to give up to $1,000 to those suffering as a result of the winter storms, according to Beyoncé's official website. The funds are for those living in Texas or any state affected by the storms, per the announcement. The application form requires including phone number, email address, race, household size, employment status and grant request amount. The form also asks for parties to describe their emergency hardship. AdThe funds are not designed to address ongoing financial challenges and are not a loan requiring reimbursement, per the application form.
Cruz says he was being a ‘good dad’ when he flew to Cancun during the winter storm
DALLAS – Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said his family vacation to Mexico was “obviously a mistake” as he returned stateside Thursday following an uproar over his disappearance during a deadly winter storm. The trip drew criticism from leaders in both parties and was seen as potentially damaging to his future political ambitions. Ad“Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” Cruz wrote. While the situation will not help Cruz's political future, the two-term senator is not in any immediate political danger. Cruz checked in for his return flight Thursday afternoon in Cancun and walked briskly through the terminal pulling a roller bag to security.
Power failure: Why did millions go without heat as temperatures dropped below freezing?
Just a week before, state energy leaders assured the public Texas’ power grid was ready and able to handle the coming storm. ERCOT does not generate power, Texas is supplied with energy by a variety of private companies. In the run-up to this storm, Woodfin said that 94 plants were spot-checked virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. “Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. This includes the natural gas & coal generators.”The Texas power grid has not been compromised.
Galveston County residents face water and electricity issues
GALVESTON, Texas – Most of Galveston County is without power, as of Wednesday. County Judge Mark Herny said if he knew millions of residents would be out of electricity he would have ordered an evacuation days before the storm. Galveston County Office of Emergency Management officials said more than 62% of the county remains without power, which is a small improvement from 70% earlier in the day. Many residents are either without running water or urged to boil water if they have it for safety. The Galveston County Medical Examiners Office also put a refrigerated truck outside its building to store bodies.
What officials say people needing medical treatment should do during the winter storm
Dr. David Persse, Houston’s chief medical officer, spoke about various medical situations he has seen pop up during the winter storm. You can find a list of warming centers here. Dialysis patientsPersse said people who need dialysis may be having trouble getting their treatment because many of the dialysis centers are dealing with power outages and low water pressure. In the meantime, some providers may direct their patients to other dialysis centers that do have the ability to provide treatment. Outpatient clinicsPersse said most outpatient clinics are dealing with power outages and water issues just like everyone else.
Turner says maintaining water pressure in Houston ‘becoming increasingly difficult’
HOUSTON – The water system in Houston on Tuesday is operating in emergency mode and officials are urging people to use water sparingly. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a tweet that “it is becoming increasingly difficult” to maintain water pressure. The City is working very hard to maintain water pressure but it is becoming increasingly difficult. There are 2 requests: please do not run water to prevent pipes from freezing and turn off water if pipes have burst. The Houston Public Works Department said in a tweet that people should only use water for “health & safety reasons.”Houston’s water & wastewater systems are operating at emergency pressure levels and experiencing system-wide low water pressure.
Houstonians step up to help group home left in cold, dark by winter storm
HOUSTON – Houstonians are once again coming together to help one another in a time of crisis. Jonte Rollins, executive director of Noah’s House in southwest Houston, said her heart is warmed by the generosity of Houstonians. On Monday night, KPRC 2 reported that 44 people at the center were among the more than 1 million Houstonians who are without power. The staff made a few trips in their two vans to get all the residents to the hotel safely. Rollins said they could use food donations to feed the residents and also help from an emergency plumber.
No, frozen wind turbines aren’t the main culprit for Texas’ power outages
“Texas is a gas state,” said Michael Webber, an energy resources professor at the University of Texas at Austin. While Webber said all of Texas’ energy sources share blame for the power crisis, the natural gas industry is most notably producing significantly less power than normal. We didn’t run out of natural gas, but we ran out of the ability to get natural gas. At least they show us where idiots live.”While wind power skeptics claimed the week's freeze means wind power can't be relied upon, wind turbines — like natural gas plants — can be "winterized," or modified to operate during very low temperatures. Natural gas power plants usually don’t have very much fuel storage on site, experts said.
Gallery Furniture opens 2 locations as warming shelters
HOUSTON – Gallery Furniture has opened two locations as warming shelters for residents who are still without power more than 24 hours after state-mandated blackouts. People can stay warm, get hot food and water at retailer’s locations at 6006 North Freeway in Houston and 7227 W. Grand Parkway South in Richmond. “We’re here to help the community,” said Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture. McIngvale said people should use extreme caution trying to get to the stores. You can find a list of warming centers in the Houston area here.
National Guard deployed to help Texans left in the cold during winter storm
Greg Abbott announced that the state of Texas is deploying maximum resources to local officials throughout the state to help those without power. The state and Texas Military Department have deployed National Guard across Texas to conduct welfare checks and assist local authorities in transitioning Texans in need to one of 135 local warming centers established with the help of the state. The state has also deployed resources to assist Texans without power and to help essential workers continue to carry out their jobs. Additional personal will also help essential workers such as healthcare professionals and power grid workers, in carrying out their essential duties. The governor also previously requested a Federal Emergency Declaration for Texas in response to the severe winter weather, which was granted by the Biden administration.
10-car pileup reported on I-45 near downtown Houston
Emergency vehicles block Interstate 45 south of downtown Houston after a crash involving several vehicles Feb. 14, 2021. HOUSTON – A crash involving nearly a dozen vehicles was reported near downtown Houston on Sunday night. Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said in a tweet that there was a 10-car pileup on Interstate 45, just south of downtown Houston. Houston Transtar reported a complete road closure of I-45 at Interstate 69 and Lockwood Drive. According to Peña, Houston firefighters and police are at the scene.
Don’t slip up: Ways to avoid a fall when temperatures tumble
Let’s go ahead and start with the MOST obvious line in this whole article: ice is slippery. A patch of ice on your patio or driveway may be harder to spot. At best, your fall will be something you and the neighbors can laugh about later when you realize it was caught on their home security cameras. You’ll want to make sure there’s some substantial tread on the shoes you wear out in these elements. In the event of a fall, they hopefully will be able to call for help instead of staying out in the cold until they’re spotted.
Power outages: Nearly all CenterPoint Energy Customers with power, utilities company says
8:50 a.m. -- Nearly all CenterPoint Energy Customers with power, utilities company saysAt the peak of the power outage emergency, approximately 1.4 million total CenterPoint Energy customers were impacted. 1:27 a.m. - CenterPoint Energy reports less than 200,000 customers without powerAs of early Thursday morning, CenterPoint Energy is now reporting 163,138 customers without power. 10:27 p.m. -- Number of CenterPoint customers without power drops below 1 millionAs of this post, CenterPoint is reporting nearly 675,000 customers without power. #houwx #hounews 2/10 — CenterPoint Energy (@CNPalerts) February 15, 2021As CenterPoint Energy made preparations to follow @ERCOT_ISO's directive to reduce load, we were anticipating outages of 15 minutes to more than an hour. As a result, immediately following ERCOT’s directive to curtail delivery of power to customers, CenterPoint Energy started controlled outages in its service territory.
What you need to know about septic systems and the cold
Cold temperatures may cause problems if you rely on a septic system to run your home. There are a few simple guidelines to follow if you have a septic system on your property. Fort Bend County officials sent out these septic tank recommendations. Ad*Not all plumbing companies are licensed to work on septic systems so make sure you check on this before having someone come to your home. Homeowners with well water systems should also take precautions during the cold.
Wind Advisory Expanded for all of Southeast Texas Until 6 p.m.
HOUSTON – A Wind Advisory that has been expanded for all of Southeast Texas starts at 9 a.m. and will last through 6 p.m.Wind AdvisoryWith gusty northwest winds and temperatures close to 60 degrees it will fee cool Friday. Expect winds to relax Friday night but cooler temperatures will be sticking around. Seasonably cool weather will continue through the week. 10 day forecastPast the holiday weekend weather becomes unsettled. Enjoy our quiet weather before the rain arrives next week!
Did employers resume hiring after rough winter weather?
Did employers resume hiring after rough winter weather? After disappointing, weather-related readings during the past few months, the jobs report for March should see a return to the trend before the polar vortex hit the U.S. Jill Schlesinger has that story and more in her look at the week ahead in business.cbsnews.com