GALVESTON COUNTY

Residents in the northern reaches of Galveston County awoke Tuesday to find nothing had improved much since plunging temperatures cut power for many early Monday.

Power returned to the home of League City resident Rusty Tidwell but only for about 45 minutes around 2:30 a.m. It hadn’t been back on since, he said later in the day.

“I’ve survived worse things than this,” he said with resignation, adding that he had about 100 pieces of firewood he was willing to share with neighbors that might have needed some, he said.

League City officials on Tuesday morning were working to solve several problems, such as power remaining out at many municipal buildings and regional issues with the city’s 911 call system.

Emergency 911 calls in the city and other communities such as Fort Bend County and Baytown, among others, were disrupted, said Sarah Greer Osborne, spokeswoman for the city.

Residents can still call 311 and dispatchers can then transfer them over to the 911 line, she said.

Problems with 911, however, were just one of many for Galveston County’s biggest city.

City officials also were calling on residents to remain off the roads and for anyone who ventured out to treat dead traffic lights as four-way stoplights, Greer Osborne said.

League City opened a warming shelter for residents at about 6 p.m. Monday at Hometown Heroes Park, and about a dozen people ventured over to the facility and spent the night, Greer Osborne said.

It was not clear how long the shelter will remain open, Greer Osborne said.

Emergency response personnel handled one request overnight transporting people from Fort Bend County, but the city received no reports of any major emergencies within city limits, Greer Osborne said.

Power remained out at most city buildings, aside from city hall and the public safety building, which are both running on generators, Greer Osborne said.

Texas’ weekend winter storm killed power in millions of homes in Texas and thousands in Galveston County and had local leaders working overtime to respond.

Dickinson, La Marque and Texas City opened warming centers, planned to open centers to charge medical devices and kept city buildings closed to lessen the burden on power demands.

Texas City opened a warming center for residents at Blocker Middle School, 1800 Ninth Ave. N. at 6:30 p.m. Monday night, Mayor Dedrick Johnson said. The center remained open overnight and closed at 3 p.m. Tuesday to prepare for Blocker’s reopening.

About 20 families went to the center, Johnson said, adding he notified residents about the center on the city’s Facebook page. There were sandwiches, drinks and device charging stations for residents, he said.

About 30 percent of Texas City did not have power on Monday, Johnson said. The city was on emergency status so it could receive some assistance from the state, he said.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Johnson said. “But the city is willing to work with anyone that can provide us with a viable solution.”

Johnson said residents should help each other in any way possible to endure the outages. Power could resume Tuesday night in Texas City, he said Tuesday afternoon. City workers will return to work and schools will resume today, he added.

All non-essential workers will remain off and non-essential buildings will remain closed today in La Marque, said Mayor Keith Bell. The closures will help reduce demand for electricity so more will be available for residents, he added.

More people were without power Tuesday than Monday, Bell said. He anticipated power would be restored Tuesday for about 15 percent of La Marque residents without power, he said.

Most traffic lights were down in Dickinson, which led the city to put out several temporary stop signs, said Mayor Sean Skipworth. Dickinson residents should treat intersections without power like four-way stops, he added.

Crossing arms were down at some railroad crossings around Dickinson, and the city was working to get them fixed as quickly as possible, he said. The city also was working to open warming centers and an area for locals to charge their medical devices, he said.

Texas City, like other cities, is at the mercy of the organizations that regulate power, Johnson said.

“This problem is out of our control,” he said. “But we still have to try to get back to life and a sense of normalcy.”

Myer Lee: (409) 683-5247; myer.lee@galvnews.com and on Twitter @thesquarescriv.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

Locations

Reporter

Myer joined The Daily News in later 2020 after previously working at our sister newspaper the Del Rio News-Herald.

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(2) comments

Gary Miller

Tuesday PM ERCOT announced there would be a Atomic power plant starting back up; Enough power for thousands of homes. Why was it not running last week? ERCOT had rated it as surplus. Another report says thousands of wind mills may be ruined and never run again. Most solar panels will be ok when sleet, ice or snow is gone.

Ted Gillis

The wind turbine owners built them on the cheap without internal heaters.

Most all others around the country have heaters to prevent this kind of damage. Their loss.

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