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[Severe Weather Virtual Press Conference]

[00:00:23]

GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYONE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

ALICIA DEAN AND I'M WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE, I'LL BE YOUR MODERATOR FOR TODAY'S IMMEDIATE AVAILABILITY.

I'D LIKE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO REMIND EVERYONE THAT WE HAVE LIVE SPANISH INTERPRETATION AVAILABLE TODAY.

YOU CAN ACCESS THIS SERVICE BY CALLING (512) 641-9113.

AGAIN, THAT NUMBER IS (512) 641-9113.

WE'D ALSO LIKE TO REMIND EVERYONE WHO'S PARTICIPATING IN TODAY'S NEWS CONFERENCE TO REMEMBER TO SPEAK SLOWLY SO THAT OUR INTERPRETERS CAN KEEP UP WITH WHAT YOU'RE SAYING.

WE ALSO INVITE EACH OF OUR SPEAKERS TO UNMUTE, TO COME INTO THE CONVERSATION WHEN IT WAS THEIR TURN HERE TO SPEAK TO YOU TODAY, WE'LL BE AUSTIN CITY MANAGERS, SPENCER CRONK, AUSTIN WATER DIRECTOR, GREG MASCARAS, AUSTIN ENERGY, GENERAL MANAGER, JACKIE SERGEANT AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT, ASSISTANT CHIEF BRANDON WADE, AUSTIN PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR, RICHARD MENDOSA, HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR, JUAN ORTIZ AND CAPITAL METRO CEO, RANDY CLARK.

WHEN OUR SPEAKERS HAVE CONCLUDED TODAY'S POOL REPORTER, JENNIFER SANDERS FROM KSAN WILL ASK QUESTIONS ON BEHALF OF THE MEDIA.

BUT FIRST I'D LIKE TO TURN THINGS OVER TO CITY MANAGER, SPENCER CROCK SPENCER.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

AND THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING US.

THE PURPOSE OF TODAY'S BRIEFING IS TO PROVIDE AN UPDATE REGARDING WEATHER EVENTS AND OUR RESPONSE.

WE STRIVE TO PROVIDE OUR COMMUNITY WITH TIMELY INFORMATION AND RECOGNIZE THAT THINGS ARE CHANGING ON AN ONGOING BASIS.

THIS HAS BEEN CHALLENGING AND WE CONTINUE TO WORK TO KEEP YOU INFORMED AND MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS.

BEFORE WE JUMP INTO THE UPDATES, I WANT TO LET OUR COMMUNITY KNOW THAT WE ARE ALL WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK TO GET OUR COMMUNITY RECOVERED FROM THIS UNPRECEDENTED EVENT, THAT IT WAS GRIPPED OUR ENTIRE STATES AND FRUSTRATED AND IMPACTED ALL OF US IN SO MANY WAYS.

I DON'T HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS.

THIS STORM IS STRESSING OUR ENTIRE COMMUNITY IN WAYS WE HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED.

NORMALLY WE CAN LEAN ON SURROUNDING ONLY IN TEXAS COMMUNITIES FOR SUPPORT AND AID, BUT THEY ARE EXPERIENCING THE SAME DIRE SITUATION THAT WE ARE.

I KNOW WE HAVE ASKED YOU REPEATEDLY TO BE PATIENTS AND WE CONTINUE TO MAKE THAT ASK OF YOU.

WE ARE ALSO SO SORRY FOR THE CONTINUED HARDSHIPS THAT SO MANY OF THEM ARE IN OUR COMMUNITY HAVE HAD TO ENDURE.

IN RECENT DAYS.

WE ARE HOPEFUL THAT TEMPERATURES WILL RISE ABOVE FREEZING, STARTING IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

BUT UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, WE ARE WORKING ON GETTING RESOURCES THAT CAN HELP YOU BECAUSE WE KNOW THIS STORM HAS SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACTED EACH ONE OF YOU FOR SHELTERS AND WARMING CENTERS.

THE PALMER EVENTS CENTER IS NOW AT FULL CAPACITY AND CAN'T ACCEPT ANY MORE PEOPLE IN NEED OF SHELTER, BUT THERE IS STILL LIMITED ROOM AT DEL VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL AT 52 OH ONE ROSS ROAD IN DEL VALLEY, MENDEZ MIDDLE SCHOOL AT 51 OH SIX VILLAGE SQUARE AND RILEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AT FOUR OH FIVE JENSEN.

THERE ARE ALSO OTHER SHELTER SITES.

THE AUSTIN DISASTER RELIEF NETWORK HAS ACTIVATED A NETWORK OF FAITH BASED LOCATIONS TO OPERATE A SHELTERS.

BUT THESE LOCATIONS ARE NOT EQUIPPED WITH FULL SERVICES AND PEOPLE ACCESSING THOSE LOCATIONS TO BRING SUPPLIES AND BLANKETS, CHURCHES THAT ARE PART OF THAT NETWORK WITH ADRA AND CAN BE FOUND BY VISITING THEIR WEBSITES@APRN.ORG BACKSLASH SHELTERS.

WE CONTINUE TO ASK THOSE WHO ARE ABLE TO SHELTER AT HOME SAFELY TO DO SO AND ALLOW THEIR MOST ALLOW OUR MOST VULNERABLE IN THE COMMUNITY TO ACCESS THESE SHELTERS.

WE WANT TO THANK OUR PARTNERS OVER AT THE AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT.

THEY HAVE SET UP WARMING CENTERS THAT WILL PROVIDE INDIVIDUALS, A PLACE TO WARM UP IN CHARGE OF ESSENTIAL MEDICAL DEVICES.

THESE WARM LORAM CENTERS WILL OPERATE FROM 9:00 AM TO 9:00 PM AND THEY WILL NOT OPERATE AS OVERNIGHT SHELTERS AND WILL ONLY HAVE MINIMAL RESOURCES ONSITE.

THEY ARE AT LEE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, WHICH IS IN CENTRAL AUSTIN AT 33 OH EIGHT HAMPTON ROAD, MERCHANT MIDDLE SCHOOL AT 37, A HUNDRED NORTH HILLS DRIVE JOCELYN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AT 4,500 MEN CHAKA ROAD AND BERENSON ELEMENTARY AT 400 COOPER DRIVE FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE UNABLE TO SHELTER IN PLACE

[00:05:01]

AND MUST TRAVEL TO ONE OF THE SHELTERS LIFTED ABOVE DUE TO MEDICAL NECESSITY.

PLEASE CONTACT NINE OR THREE, ONE, ONE TO ARRANGE TRANSPORTATION.

YOU CAN ALSO EMAIL C O EMERGENCY RIDES AT AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV.

THAT'S COA EMERGENCY RIDES.

ONE WORD AT AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV, AND PROVIDE YOUR NAME, PHONE NUMBER, ADDRESS, AND NUMBER OF PEOPLE NEEDING TRANSPORT AND MEDICAL NEEDS.

I WANT TO REMIND EVERYONE THAT TRANSPORTATION RESOURCES ARE EXTREMELY LIMITED AND WE'RE ASKING TO RESERVE THIS RESOURCE AGAIN FOR OUR MOST VULNERABLE POPULATION, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO REQUIRE POWER FOR THEIR MEDICAL DEVICES UNTIL THE ROADS ARE SAFE TO BEYOND.

WE ARE URGING FOLKS TO STAY HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND KEEP THE ROADWAYS CLEAR AND SAFE FOR OUR FIRST RESPONDERS AND THOSE SEEKING SHELTER.

AGAIN, IF YOU HAVE A LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL AUSTIN NINE ONE ONE.

NOW CURBSIDE TRASH AND RECYCLING COLLECTION WILL START ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19.

OH, PERMIT WET WEATHER PERMITTING FOR THOSE SCHEDULED ON FRIDAY.

UH, ALTHOUGH THE CREWS MAY TAKE LONGER THAN USUAL TO GIVE BECAUSE OF ROAD CONDITIONS.

BEFORE I TURN IT OVER TO DIRECTOR GREG BIZARROS FOR AN UPDATE ON AUSTIN WATER, I DO WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT TO THANK OUR CITY OF AUSTIN WORKFORCE.

THEY HAVE WORKED TIRELESSLY DAY IN AND DAY OUT.

I ALSO WANT TO THANK OUR COMMUNITY.

WE KNOW THAT YOU ARE TIRED AS WELL, AND YOU ARE FRUSTRATED.

WE CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR YOUR HELP AND CONTINUE TO PATIENTS AS WE ALL WEATHER THIS STORM.

THANK YOU, CITY MANAGER.

NOW TURN THINGS OVER TO AUSTIN WATER DIRECTOR, GREG .

THANKS EVERYONE.

UH, I'M GREG DIRECTOR OF AUSTIN WATER, AND, UH, WANT TO PROVIDE YOU SOME INPUT TODAY? LET, LET ME SAY, I WANT TO ECHO THE CITY MANAGER'S WORDS THAT, UH, WE'RE SORRY FOR THE HARDSHIPS PEOPLE ARE EXPERIENCING WITH THE WATER SYSTEM.

UH, WE NEVER IMAGINED A DAY WHERE HOSPITALS WOULDN'T HAVE WATER, LARGE SEGMENTS OF OUR CUSTOMER BASE.

WOULDN'T HAVE WATER AND WE'RE COMMITTED TO RESTORING OUR SYSTEM AS SAFELY AND RAPIDLY AS WE CAN.

UH, WE HAVE A PLAN AND WE'RE WORKING THE PLAN AND IN CONDITIONS WILL IMPROVE EVERY DAY, BUT WE HAVE A LOT OF HARD WORK AHEAD OF US TO, UH, ULTIMATELY GET OUR SYSTEM BACK AND FULL WORKING ORDER.

I THOUGHT, I MIGHT SAY A FEW MINUTES, A TALK A FEW MINUTES ON OUR PLAN AND WHAT WE'RE DOING.

UH, YESTERDAY WE HAD REPORTED THAT OUR ORRICK TREATMENT PLANT, WHICH IS OUR LARGEST PLANT, HAD EXPERIENCED AN ELECTRICAL DISRUPTION AND WAS OUT AT SERVICE.

I'M PLEASED TO SAY THAT, THAT PLANT'S NOW BACK IN SERVICE WITH THE HELP AND SUPPORT OF AUSTIN ENERGY, WE WERE ABLE TO CORRECT THAT ELECTRICAL PROBLEM AND ORRICK IS, UH, IS RAMPING BACK UP, UH, FOR WATER PRODUCTION TODAY.

AND SO THAT THAT'S A POSITIVE SIGN FOR US.

UM, OUR PLAN REALLY INVOLVES TWO PHASES.

THE FIRST PHASE IS, IS WE HAVE TO RESTORE PRESSURE TO OUR SYSTEM, UH, BECAUSE OF ALL THE WATER MAIN BREAKS, THE PRIVATE BURST PIPES AND THE INCREASED WATER USE, UH, THE WATER IN OUR RESERVOIRS ESSENTIALLY DRAINED OUT, UH, OVER THE LAST DAY.

AND, AND THAT STABILIZES THE SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES PRESSURE.

WE HAVE TO BRING THOSE RESERVOIRS, UH, BACKUP, UH, TO SERVICE.

THAT'S GOING TO TAKE TIME.

OUR RESERVOIRS STORE ALMOST A HUNDRED MILLION GALLONS OF WATER.

THAT'S ABOUT ONE DAY'S WATER USE OF AUSTIN.

AND, UH, AND AT, AT THE LOW POINT THEY WERE ALL NEARLY EMPTY.

SO WE HAVE TO BRING THOSE BACK UP AND WE HAVE TO CHECK THE TRANSMISSION INFRASTRUCTURE, THE WATER MAINS THAT SERVE THOSE RESERVOIRS.

UH, WE HAVE TO FIND SOME OF THESE LEAKS THAT CAUSE WATER TO DRAIN OUT OF OUR SYSTEM DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE COLD SNAP.

IF WE SIMPLY TRY TO TURN THE SYSTEM ON EVERYWHERE AND DON'T CHECK FOR LEAKS AND DO THIS IN A METHODICAL WAY, WE'LL SIMPLY REPEAT WHAT HAPPENED THE OTHER NIGHT, WHERE ALL THE WATER DRAINS OUT OF OUR SYSTEM.

SO WE HAVE TO WORK THIS IN A METHODICAL, DETAILED WAY.

UH, ONCE WE STABILIZE THE SYSTEM CAN DEMONSTRATE THAT IT HAS ADEQUATE PRESSURE.

WE CAN BEGIN THE PROCESS OF SAMPLING THE WATER, TESTING IT FOR BACTERIOLOGICAL AND CLEARING THOSE SYSTEMS. WE'RE WORKING WITH THE STATE OF TEXAS TO HELP US, UH, EXPEDITE THOSE PROCESSES OF CLEARING OUR SYSTEM AND BRINGING IT BACK INTO SERVICE.

SO EVERYONE IS ASSISTING US IN THAT REGARD.

I WILL ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS CAN TOO, CAN YOU CONTINUE TO CONSERVE WATER? IF YOU HAVE WATER SERVICE AT YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS, PLEASE USE IT WISELY.

AND IN A MODERATE WAY, IF WATER RETURNS TO YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS, PLEASE AGAIN, DON'T GO OVERBOARD AND START USING TOO MUCH WATER.

PLEASE BE VERY THOUGHTFUL.

THE WATER YOU USE IS WATER THAT ANOTHER CUSTOMER MAY NOT HAVE.

AND SO LET'S ALL WORK TOGETHER TO CONTINUE TO CONSERVE.

[00:10:01]

IT IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE.

I WAS LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS TODAY AND OUR DEMAND ON THE SYSTEM, THE AMOUNT OF WATER THAT THE SYSTEM, UH, NEEDS VERSUS HOW MUCH WE'RE MAKING.

UH, WE ARE SEEING LOWER DEMAND RELATIVE TO THE AMOUNT OF WATER WE CAN PRODUCE.

SO THAT'S EXACTLY THE BALANCE THAT WE WANT.

WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO MAKE MORE WATER THAN THE SYSTEM IS USING.

AND THEN WE CAN REFILL THESE RESERVOIRS.

WE CAN CHECK FOR LEAKS AND WE CAN START TO RESTORE SERVICE TO A BROADER SEGMENT OF, OF OUR COMMUNITY.

AND I WOULD SAY ALSO OUR PRIORITY IS REESTABLISHING SERVICE TO OUR HOSPITALS AND OUR KEY HEALTHCARE CENTERS.

BUT WE KNOW THAT THOSE ARE THE NUMBER ONE GOALS, AND THAT IS TOP OF MIND FOR US AS WE WORK THROUGH THIS PROCESS.

AND SO THANK YOU.

UH, AND, UH, AND THAT CONCLUDES MY THANK YOU VERY MUCH DIRECTOR MS. ARROWS FOR THOSE REMARKS.

WE NOW TURN THINGS OVER TO AUSTIN ENERGY, GENERAL MANAGER, JACKIE SERGEANT JACKIE.

THANK YOU.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

MY NAME IS JACKIE SERGEANT AND I'M THE GENERAL MANAGER FOR AUSTIN ENERGY.

THIS WEATHER EVENT AND ASSOCIATED POWER OUTAGES HAVE LEFT THE STATE AND THIS COMMUNITY ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATED LIKE MANY OF YOU.

WE CAN'T WAIT FOR THE SNOW AND ICE MELT AND THE POWER TO BE, BE RESTORED.

THERE IS SOME PROMISING NEWS.

AUSTIN ENERGY FOCUS IS ON RESTORING OUR REMAINING CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE BEEN WITHOUT POWER WHILE WE HAD NEARLY 220,000 CUSTOMERS WITHOUT POWER AT THE HEIGHT OF THE MANDATED OR CAUGHT CONTROLLED OUTAGES ON TUESDAY MORNING, THE SITUATION IS IMPROVING AND AUSTIN ENERGY HAS BEEN ABLE TO RESTORE POWER TO TENS OF THOUSANDS OF OUR CUSTOMERS.

AND THESE EFFORTS ARE ONGOING.

OUR CREWS, OUR TEAM WILL NOT STOP UNTIL EVERY HOUSEHOLD.

EVERY CUSTOMER HAS HAD POWER RESTORED CURRENTLY, OR COD IS NOT MANDATING OUTAGES AND HAS ALLOWED US TO WORK THROUGH THE NIGHT AND INTO TODAY TO ENERGIZE NUMEROUS CIRCUITS AND GET THE POWER FLOWING AS WEATHER CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO CHANGE.

IT IS POSSIBLE.

ERCOT MAY HAVE TO MANDATE MORE OUTAGES, BUT WE WILL TAKE EVERY EFFORT TO RESTORE THESE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

AND AS LONG AS THE REQUIREMENT, ISN'T TOO EXCESSIVE, WE WILL BE ABLE TO UTILIZE ROTATING OUTAGES UNTIL THE POWER CAN BE FULLY RESTORED.

OUR CREWS ARE OUT IN THE COMMUNITY.

THEY'RE WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK TO SAFELY RESTORE HOUSEHOLDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

AND THERE ARE PRIORITIZING CUSTOMERS THAT HAVE BEEN OUT THE LONGEST.

SO SOME HAVE SOME CUSTOMERS WITH SHORTER OUTAGES MAY RE MAY SEE THEIR POWER COME BACK ON AS PART OF THIS PROCESS, BECAUSE THERE'S SO MUCH WORK TO BE DONE.

UNFORTUNATELY, I CAN'T GIVE YOU A FIRM ANSWER ON WHEN YOUR POWER WILL BE BACK.

I TRULY WISH THAT I COULD.

SOME OF YOU HAVE SEEN YOUR POWER COME BACK ON AND THEN GO OFF AGAIN.

AND THERE ARE A FEW REASONS FOR THIS, JUST LIKE GREG.

BIZARROS TALKED ABOUT AUSTIN WATER SYSTEM.

WE HAVE TO DO THIS WORK CAREFULLY.

IF WE POWER EVERYONE BACK UP AT THE SAME TIME, WE'LL OVERLOAD THE SYSTEM AND TRIP EVERYTHING OFF, BUT JUST LIKE WE SHUT THE SYSTEM DOWN IN SECTIONS, WE HAVE TO RESTORE THE SYSTEM IN SECTIONS AND THIS CAN TAKE TIME.

AND AS WE'RE WORKING, IT CAN REBUILD OTHER ISSUES THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED AND FIXED BEFORE FULL RESTORATION CAN OCCUR.

WEDNESDAY'S ICE STORM BROUGHT MORE HAZARDS TO OUR SYSTEM.

SOME ARE ROUTES ARE BEING, UM, RECOGNIZED OR ARE NOT BEING RECOGNIZED UNTIL WE'RE ALLOWED TO REENERGIZE CIRCUITS.

AND THEN THEY SHOW UP.

ADDITIONALLY ICE CREATES UNIQUE SAFETY CHALLENGES FOR OUR FIELD CREWS, ICELAND.

WE'RE SEEING MANY THINGS.

WE'RE SEEING ICE ON VEGETATION.

UM, SO RESTORING POWER.

ISN'T JUST FLIPPING A SWITCH IN THIS COLD WEATHER.

I AS ADDITIONAL WEIGHT TO THE TREE LIMBS, FORCING BRANCHES TO BREAK OR LEAN INTO POWER LINES, CAUSING OUTAGES, EVEN WITH OUR VEGETATION MANAGEMENT THAT WE DO ON A REGULAR BASIS, THE AREAS VEGETATION OR GREENERY CAN EFFECT ELECTRIC SERVICE, ESPECIALLY IN THESE EXTREME CONDITIONS.

I ALSO BUILDS UP ON POWER LINES, ADDING ADDITIONAL WEIGHT TO THE LINE.

AND A HALF OF INCH OF ICE CAN ADD AS MUCH AS 500 POUNDS TO A POWER LINE CAUSING THAT LINE TO BREAK.

I ALSO BUILDS UP AND OTHER ELECTRICAL SYSTEM EQUIPMENT, CREATING CHALLENGES TO OPERATING IT DURING A TYPICAL OUTAGE.

IT MAY BE POSSIBLE FOR A CREW TO ISOLATE SECTIONS OF A LINE QUICKLY TO RESTORE POWER TO MORE CUSTOMERS DURING AN ICE STORM.

CREWS NEED TO FIRST REMOVE THE ICE FROM THE EQUIPMENT BEFORE THEY CAN BEGIN TO FAITHFULLY MAKE REPAIRS.

[00:15:01]

AND THIS CAN ADD TIME TO OUR RESTORATION AREA FOR BOTH, BOTH AREAS OF OUR SYSTEM THAT ARE AFFECTED.

FINALLY, I KNOW, I KNOW YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING OTHER THAN EVERYONE IS GOING TO GET THEIR POWER BACK ON AND IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN RIGHT NOW.

I WISH THAT BRINGING EVERYONE BACK ONLINE, WAS IT EASIEST, FLIPPING A SWITCH OR PUSHING A BUTTON, BUT IT'S NOT.

IF I WANT TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK OUR CREWS AND EMPLOYEES BEHIND THE THEME WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING TIRELESSLY DURING THE ENTIRE EXTREME WEATHER EMERGENCY, I'M GOING TO CONTINUE TO ASK THE PUBLIC TO GIVE THEM SPACE AND TO LET THEM DO THEIR JOBS SAFELY.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK TO FAITHFULLY RESTORE POWER AND HELP EVERYONE AS THEIR SERVICE BACK ON.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH GENERAL MANAGER SERGEANT FOR THOSE REMARKS.

WE'RE NOW GOING TO TURN THINGS OVER TO AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT, ASSISTANT CHIEF, BRANDON WADE FOR AN UPDATE, BRANDON, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO UNMUTE AND COME INTO THE CONVERSATION.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

I'M BRANDON WADE WITH THE AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT AND, UH, AS MANY OTHERS HAVE ECHOED.

I WANT TO THANK THE CITIZENS OUT THERE THAT HAVE BEEN SO PATIENT AND UNDERSTANDING DURING THESE TRYING TIMES, AS WE WORK TO RESTORE POWER AND UTILITIES AND ALSO SERVE THE NINE 11 EMERGENCIES THAT COME IN, THE AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS RESPONDED TO THOUSANDS OF CALLS DURING THESE TIMES FOR SERVICE AND OUR MEN AND WOMEN HAVE WORKED TIRELESSLY AND COUNTLESS HOURS, UH, DOING THAT.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THIS JUST AS WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE TO CONTINUE THE EMERGENCY SERVICES TO OUR COMMUNITY.

A COUPLE OF ITEMS WE WOULD LIKE TO NOTE AND ENSURE THAT THE PUBLIC UNDERSTANDS TO HELP US WITH IS ONE THE THREAT AND THE HAZARD OF CARBON MONOXIDE.

WE HAVE RESPONDED TO NUMEROUS CALLS, AS PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO STAY WARM IN THEIR HOMES IN WHICH THEY ARE BURNING MATERIALS, NOT IN FIREPLACES AND THEN CONTAINERS AND, AND OTHER, UH, DEVICES INSIDE A HOME.

THE DANGERS OF THAT IS NOT ONLY THE CARBON MONOXIDE, BUT ALSO THE RISK AND THE HAZARD OF CAUSING A FIRE.

WE ARE URGING THE PUBLIC TO ONLY USE THOSE APPROVED FIREPLACES THAT ARE WORKING IN THEIR RESIDENTS TO ONLY BURN EITHER THE APPROVED FIRE LOGS OR FIREWOOD, NOT ANY OTHER TYPE OF COMBUSTIBLES.

AGAIN, THE DANGERS OF THAT IS NOT ONLY THE POSSIBLE FIRE HAZARD THAT IT CREATES, BUT ALSO THE CARBON MONOXIDE.

WE ALSO WOULD LIKE TO COVER SOME OF THE ITEMS WITH, IF THERE IS A FIRE IN YOUR RESIDENCE OR IN YOUR APARTMENT BUILDING, WE'RE ASKING THE PUBLIC TO CALL NINE IMMEDIATELY UPON SEEING A FIRE DUE TO THE ROAD CONDITIONS THAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING ALL OVER THIS AREA.

RESPONSE TIMES CAN BE SLOWED DOWN AS OUR CREWS ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE SNOW AND THE ICE TO REACH THE ADDRESSES.

SO AS YOU SEE, SMOKE AND FIRE, PLEASE DIAL NINE ONE ONE IMMEDIATELY AND NOTIFY US, DO NOT WAIT OR EXPECT THAT SOMEBODY ELSE HAS ALREADY DONE THAT UNTIL YOU SEE A FIRETRUCK ON SCENE, WE ASK THAT YOU NOT, UH, USE THE ELEVATORS.

MANY BUILDINGS DO NOT HAVE POWER AND POWER SOMETIMES MAY GO OFF, UH, DUE TO THE EMERGENCIES AND THE CHALLENGES THAT THE UTILITY COMPANIES ARE HAVING.

SO PLEASE USE THE STAIRS AND EXIT THE STRUCTURE IMMEDIATELY AND WAIT FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.

AND LASTLY, KNOW YOUR EXIT PATH, KNOW HOW TO GET YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR RESIDENCE.

OR THE BUILDING IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT EVERYBODY TRIES TO EVACUATE BEFORE THE FIRE DEPARTMENT GETS THERE TO HELP US OUT.

SO WE CAN ADDRESS THE EMERGENCY.

WE'D ALSO LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE WATER LEAKS AND THE WATER LINE BREAKS THAT ARE OCCURRING AND UNDERSTAND WHAT THE FREEZING TEMPERATURES THAT PIPES ARE BURSTING IN RESIDENTS AND BUILDING.

THESE HAVE CREATED CHALLENGES ACROSS THE CITY AND ACROSS THE COUNTY.

AGAIN, THE FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS RESPONDED TO THOUSANDS OF THESE, AND WE ARE HERE TO STILL RESPOND TO THOSE.

HOWEVER, DUE TO THE AMOUNT, THE RESPONSE CAN BE DELAYED TO SOME OF THESE.

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU KNOW, WHERE YOUR WATER SHUT OFF IS.

SO IF A PIPE DOES BREAK, YOU'RE ABLE TO SHUT THE WATER OFF TO YOUR HOUSE OR TO THE APPLIANCE THAT IS LEAKING.

ALSO, IF YOU'RE IN A APARTMENT OR A BUILDING, IT IS ADVISABLE TO CONTACT YOUR MANAGEMENT AND TALK TO THEM AND GET A CONTACT NUMBER FOR THE, UH, THE MANAGEMENT SO THAT THEY CAN QUICKLY COME TO YOUR BUILDING AND TRY TO SHUT THE WATER OFF AS WELL TO NOT ONLY LIMIT DAMAGE, BUT ALSO KEEPING FROM ALL YOUR BELONGINGS BEING WET.

AGAIN, THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL CONTINUE TO RESPOND THROUGH THIS

[00:20:01]

EMERGENCY AND WE'RE HERE TO SERVE YOU THE PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCIES IN THE CITY AND IN THE COUNTY HAVE BEEN WORKING TIRELESSLY AND THEY WILL CONTINUE TO HELP THE CITIZENS THROUGH THIS EMERGENCY.

I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL AGAIN FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND YOUR PATIENCE ASSISTANT CHIEF WADE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM AUSTIN FIRE.

WE NOW TURN THINGS OVER TO YOU.

AUSTIN PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR, RICHARD MENDOZA HAS JOINING US BY PHONE RICHARD, PLEASE UNMUTE AND COME INTO THE CONVERSATION.

UH, GOOD AFTERNOON.

UH, CAN Y'ALL HEAR ME OKAY.

IT'S WE CAN, YES, WE CAN.

RICHARD, WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY AGAIN? LET ME TRY AGAIN.

HELLO EVERYONE.

RICHARD MENDOZA PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR, UH, PUBLIC WORKS CREWS HAVE BEEN WORKING INTO ROTATING 12 HOUR SHIFTS, 24 HOURS A DAY.

UH, SINCE THIS PAST SATURDAY EVENING, WHEN WE FIRST STARTED GETTING SOME PRAISING PRECEPT IN OUR CITY.

AND, UH, THESE CREWS CONSIST OF OVER 70, UH, PERSONNEL THAT HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN TREATING ICY CONDITIONS.

INITIALLY ON MANY OF OUR BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES, THEY ALSO, UH, MOBILIZED TO ASSIST THE AUSTIN, UM, ABI A AIRPORT TO CLEAR TAXIWAYS AND RUNWAYS TO GET THAT FACILITY REOPENED THIS WEEK AND THEN HAVE NOW TRANSITIONED THEIR FOCUS INTO TREATING AND CLEARING A NUMBER OF IDENTIFIED HIGH PRIORITY ROUTES THROUGHOUT OUR CITY.

UH, OF THOSE, WE HAVE WORKED WITH OUR TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT AND IDENTIFIED 196 LANE MILES OF PRIORITY ROUTES THROUGHOUT OUR CITY OF THOSE.

WE HAVE CLEARED 118 LANE MILES OR APPROXIMATELY 60%, AND WE HAVE REMAINING 78, UH, LANE MILES, UH, TO ADDRESS BETWEEN NOW AND TOMORROW MORNING OR MID DAY.

WE'VE ALSO, UH, TREATED A NUMBER OF BRIDGES AND ELEVATED STRUCTURES.

I MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY A TOTAL OF 26, SOME RETREATED, UH, NUMEROUS TIMES THREE AND FOUR TIMES SINCE THESE STRUCTURES ARE MORE VULNERABLE TO ICY CONDITIONS.

AND THEY ALSO INCLUDE, UH, SOME TEXT DOC FACILITIES ON DOWNTOWN, AS WELL AS MOPAC, WHICH OUR CITY, OUR RELIES ON CHRIST, UM, HEAVILY TO ACCESS, UH, CRITICAL LIFE SAFETY, UM, SERVICES, UH, OF THOSE, UH, 70 CREW MEMBERS.

WE ALSO WERE ASSISTED FROM STAFF FROM AUSTIN TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, AS WELL AS THE WATERSHED PROTECTION DEPARTMENT WITH SOME ADDITIONAL CREW MEMBERS AND EQUIPMENT.

AND, UH, SO OUR EQUIPMENT RIGHT NOW STANDS AT EIGHT SANDING SPREADERS.

WE HAVE NINE DUMP TRUCKS, THREE MOTOR GRADERS, WHICH ARE THE ROAD, UH, WORKING EQUIPMENT WITH BLADES, UH, SUITABLE TO REMOVING SNOW AND ICE AND SIX FRONT END LOADERS.

WE'VE ALSO BROUGHT ON, UH, YESTERDAY THREE EMERGENCY CONTRACTS TO GET CONTRACTORS, TO ASSIST US IN CLEARING THOSE HIGH PRIORITY ROADS, UH, THROUGHOUT OUR CITY.

UH, UNFORTUNATELY WE DO NOT HAVE ANY SNOW FILES PER SE, BUT BETWEEN THE FRONT END LOADERS AND THE MOTOR GRADERS AND THE CONTRACT WORK, WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT WE CAN, UM, COMPLETE THOSE HIGH PRIORITY ROUTES OVERNIGHT AND STILL RESPOND TO THE EMERGENCY CALLS THAT COME TO US THROUGH OUR EOC, TO DO A HOTSPOT TREATMENTS IN AREAS OF, UH, CRITICAL CARE FACILITIES, SUCH AS HOSPITALS, FIRE, EMS STATIONS, UH, WE'VE ALSO BEEN ENGAGED TO REFUEL GENERATORS THROUGHOUT THE CITY AND PROVIDE ESCORT SERVICES TO CAP METRO.

UH, FOR THOSE FOLKS THAT NEED TRANSPORT TO SOME OF THOSE WARMING CENTERS, WE WILL TREAT THE ROUTES HAVE HAD, UH, AHEAD OF THEIR, UH, BUSES.

UH, I DO WANT TO STATE THAT, YOU KNOW, WHILE WE ARE TREATING THESE ROADS, UH, WE'RE TREATING ONLY ONE LANE IN EACH DIRECTION SO THAT WE CAN GET COMPLETE.

UH, IT'S STILL A LITTLE DICEY OUT THERE.

IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, YOU KNOW, WE CANNOT EMPHASIZE ENOUGH THAT YOU FOLLOW, UH, SOME CERTAIN SAFETY TIPS, TIPS, TRY AND RESTRICT YOUR TRAVEL TO THE DAYTIME HOURS.

WE EXPECT,

[00:25:01]

UH, ANY PRECEPT THAT DID NOT EVAPORATE, UH, TODAY TO REFREEZE OVERNIGHT, UH, TRY AND AVOID OVERPASSES AND USE EXTREME CAUTION ON ELEVATED ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES.

IF YOU MUST, UH, TRANSFER THOSE, UH, FACILITIES, IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO VEHICLES, OF COURSE, WITH FULL WHEEL DRIVE OR A HEAVIER SOV, THOSE WORK A LITTLE BETTER IN THE FROZEN PRECEPT AND SMALL CARS, UH, PLEASE TAKE IT SLOW.

BE AWARE THAT OUR ROADWAY VISIBILITY CAN BE IMPAIRED, UH, BY FROZEN WINDSHIELDS.

AND PLEASE TREAT ALL FLASHING AND DARKS TRAFFIC SIGNALS THROUGHOUT THE CITY AS FOUR WAY STOPS, NO MATTER WHICH DIRECTION YOU MAY BE TRAVELING ON.

UH, SO THAT COMPLETES MY REPORT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THE REGIMEN DOES SO THANK YOU FOR THAT IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON ROAD CONDITIONS AND SAFETY INFORMATION FROM PUBLIC WORKS.

WE NOW LIKE TO TURN THINGS OVER TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR ONE, OR T'S WHO IS JOINING US FROM THE AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER.

JUAN, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO UNMUTE.

YEAH.

THANK YOU AND EVERYBODY.

HI, MY NAME IS .

I'M THE DIRECTOR FOR HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

THIS IS TRULY UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION FOR OUR ALREADY, BUT WE HAVE HUNDREDS OF DEDICATED STAFF MEMBER, SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY TO PROVIDE SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY AND TO SOLVE PROBLEMS. THE AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER HAS BEEN RESPONDING TO THIS INCIDENT SINCE LAST WEEK AND HAS SUPPORTING AN INCREASINGLY DEMANDING SCOPE.

AS THE SITUATION EVOLVES, WE ARE SUPPORTING MULTIPLE SHELTERS ACROSS THE COMMUNITY, BEING OPERATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT AND OTHER VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS.

THESE SHELTERS HAVE FOOD COTS, PILLOWS, BLANKETS, AND OTHER PERSONAL ITEMS. IN ADDITION, SHELTERS OPERATED BY THE AUSTIN DISASTER RELIEF NETWORK NETWORK BE FOUND ON THEIR WEBSITE@HTTPSCOLONORSLASHFOURSLASHADRN.ORG OR SLASH SHELTERS, WHICH I UNDERSTAND.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT IN THIS DYNAMIC SITUATION, THEN YOU CONCERN IS WATER FOR THE COMMUNITY.

I CAN TELL YOU WATER HAS BEEN PURCHASED AND ON THE WAY, AS SOON AS WE ARE ABLE, WE WILL BEGIN TO DISTRIBUTE IN THE COMMUNITY.

HOWEVER, OUR SITUATION IS NOT UNIQUE TO OTHER CITIES AND OTHER CITIES HAVE SIMILAR NEEDS, WHICH HAS REQUIRED US TO PURCHASE WATER OUT OF STATE.

SO IT WILL TAKE TIME FOR IT TO BE DELIVERED.

AS SOON AS WE RECEIVE ANY WORD, ANY WATER FROM LOCAL SOURCES, WE ARE GOING TO ADDRESS THE MOST VULNERABLE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

ADDITIONALLY, WE ARE SUPPORTING MULTIPLE INITIATIVES PROVIDING SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY, INCLUDING EFFORTS.

SO DECOMPRESS HOSPITAL CAPACITY PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION FOR ARRIVED, FOOD AND WATER PROVIDE FUEL TO NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE AND OTHER CRITICAL MISSIONS TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THE COMMUNITY.

WE COULD NOT ACHIEVE THIS LEVEL OF RESPONSE WITHOUT THE INCREDIBLY DEDICATED STAFF.

MANY WHO HAVE BEEN LIVING IN THIS FACILITY AND OTHER FACILITIES FOR DAYS AWAY FROM THEIR FAMILIES.

BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR GOVERNMENT PARTNERS LIKE TRAVIS COUNTY, THE AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT CAPITOL METRO, AND THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE.

LASTLY, OUR PARTNERS WITH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS AND THE AUSTIN DISASTER DISASTER RELIEF NETWORK HAVE BEEN INTEGRAL IN OUR RESPONSE DIRECTOR ORTIZ.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT UPDATE.

WE'D NOW LIKE TO HEAR, UM, AN UPDATE ON OUR TRANSIT SITUATION.

JOINING US IS CAPITOL METRO CEO, RANDY CLARK.

HE'S JOINING US BY PHONE, MR. KHAN, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO UNMUTE AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION.

GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYONE.

UH, I WANT TO TAKE A QUICK MOMENT AND REARRANGE WHAT SPENCER SAID RIGHT AT THE START OF THE BRIEFING.

UH, WE'RE ALL WORKING 24 SEVEN TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY THROUGH THIS REALLY IT'S AN UNPRECEDENTED AS USED, BUT IT'S A SET OF EMERGENCIES THAT HAVE KIND OF COMPOUNDED UPON EACH OTHER.

UH, AS EVERYONE ON THIS CALL HAS SAID, AND I'LL REITERATE AGAIN AS WELL

[00:31:00]

DIFFICULTIES, BUT THAT THAT PHONE NUMBER IS STAFFED AND WE ARE INCREASING STAFFING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN PROVIDE AS ACCURATE INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE.

EARLIER THIS WEEK.

WE ALSO SAID WHEN SERVICE DOES COME BACK, UH, ALL FAIRS ARE WAIVED.

SO, UH, THOSE TO GET EVERYONE ON AND OFF THE VEHICLES AS FAST AS POSSIBLE, MAKE IT A SAFE, KEEP PEOPLE OUT OF THE COLD.

AND THEN, SO THERE'D BE NO FAIRS FOR THE REMAINING OF THE WEEK.

AND PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ALL COVID-19, UH, PRECAUTIONS ARE STILL IN SLICE SPECIFICALLY A REQUIREMENT FOR A MASK TODAY.

WE ACTUALLY EXCEEDED OUR STAFFING, UM, OUR STAFFING EXPECTATION.

AND I WANT TO REALLY JUST HIGHLIGHT.

WE HAD OVER A HUNDRED PLUS OPERATORS REPORT TO DUTY.

AND WHILE WE WERE HOPING TO GET THAT MANY, UH, IT, WE WERE THANKFUL THAT MANY WERE ABLE TO, UH, TO SHOW UP, TO WORK, TO DELIVER SERVICE.

MOST OF OUR STAFF HAD HAVE DEALT WITH PARTS OF THIS EMERGENCY, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE COMMUNITY, WHETHER IT'S WATER OR ELECTRICAL OR ANOTHER ISSUE.

AND THEY WERE ABLE TO MAKE IT IN.

WE DO EXPECT TO MAINTAIN THAT STAFFING LEVEL THROUGHOUT APM.

SO THE SERVICE A TODAY, A COUPLE HIGHLIGHTS ON TODAY AS WELL THAT WE REALLY FOCUSED ON IS WE HAD A LOT OF MEMBERS THAT WE TRANSPORT ON OUR METRO ACCESS PROGRAMS THAT ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF DIALYSIS.

UH, YESTERDAY WE WERE ABLE TO GET ENOUGH SERVICE OUT TO, UH, PROVIDE 37 DIALYSIS TRIPS FOR THOSE THAT HAD THAT CRITICAL LIFE SAFETY NEED.

TODAY, WE HAVE ALMOST 60 TRIPS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH LIFE-SAVING DIALYSIS TREATMENTS.

AND THOSE AGAIN ARE, WERE WE'RE FOCUSED HEAVILY ON OTHER THINGS WE'RE WORKING ON TODAY IS WORKING, UH, TO HELP OUR PARTNERS HERE AT THE CITY OF AUSTIN, TO TRANSPORT PEOPLE, TO WARMING AND MOVING PEOPLE FROM PALMER TO DEL VALLEY.

I KNOW IT'S BEEN ONE PRIORITY, BUT ALSO IN THE, ANY EVACUATIONS THAT WE DID FOR THE LAST FEW DAYS AND CONTINUE TO DO TODAY, ANY REQUESTS WE'RE WORKING WITH MEALS ON WHEELS TO HELP GIVE MEALS AND WATER DELIVERED TO THEIR HOME BOUND CLIENTS.

AND WE'VE BEEN WORKING FOR SEVERAL DAYS WITH DELL SETON MEDICAL CENTER TO TRANSPORT, UH, INDIVIDUAL, UH, STAFF, DOCTORS, AND NURSES AND OTHERS FROM, FROM, UH, FROM HOTELS THROUGH THE HOSPITAL AND SOME OF THEIR PATIENTS FROM THE HO FROM THE HOSPITAL, UH, BACK HOME SAFELY THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND, WE'LL BE OPERATING SERVICE ON METRO BOSTON, METRO RAPID ROUTES AS MUCH AS MUCH SERVICE AS OUR STAFFING ALLOWS.

WE DO FEEL, UH, CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC, UH, TOMORROW SERVICE.

WE CAN START AT 8:00 AM THROUGH 9:00 PM.

SO WE'RE EXTENDING HOURS ONE HOUR EARLIER TOMORROW TO 8:00 AM.

AND ONE HOUR LATER TO 9:00 PM.

THEN ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, SERVICE WILL RUN FROM 7:00 AM TO 10:00 PM.

AGAIN, EXTENDED AN EXTRA HOUR IN THE MORNING.

AND THEN AT EVENING, WE'RE GOING TO USE ALL THE EXTRA AVAILABLE TIME, UM, OVER THE WEEKEND TO REALLY WORK ON OUR MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT.

UH, THE GO WITH A GOAL OF RUNNING A COMPLETE REGULAR SERVICE ON MONDAY, WE WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE HAVING A COMMUNICATION SYSTEM AND WITH THE FULL ANTICIPATION OF RUNNING REGULAR RED LINE SERVICE ON MONDAY, UH, AGAIN, PLEASE FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA OR METRO ALERTS TO GET UP-TO-DATE REAL-TIME INFORMATION AND CAP METRO OR G UH, AGAIN, SO THAT INFORMATION, THOSE ARE THE BEST PLACES I JUST LIKE TO CLOSE BY TAKING A MOMENT AND, AND THANKING OUR PARTNERS.

UH, RICHARD MENTIONED THEY'D BEEN DOING SOME ESCORT, UH, DUTIES, UH, FOR SOME OF OUR BOSSES, KIND OF A CONVOY THAT HAS BEEN CRITICAL.

UH, I'D LIKE TO PERSONALLY THANK ALL OF OUR FIRST RESPONDERS, UM, UM, AUSTIN ENERGY,

[00:35:01]

AUSTIN WATER, ALL OF OUR OTHER CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERS.

I KNOW HOW HARD YOU ALL ARE WORKING AND, UH, INCLUDING HELPING US AT OUR FACILITIES.

SO THANK YOU FOR THAT.

AND THEN LASTLY, ACAP CAP, METRO STAFF.

I, I, I JUST, UH, I, WHETHER IT'S COVID OR THIS EMERGENCY OR OTHERS, I CONTINUE TO BE IN AWE WITH THEIR DEDICATION, JUST LIKE I KNOW ALL OF MY, UH, PARTNERS HERE DO OF THEIR STAFF.

AND I JUST WANT TO THANK THEM PUBLICLY AGAIN, FOR ALL THE WORK THEY ARE DOING BOTH SUPPORTING OUR PARTNERS AND PROVIDING ESSENTIAL MOBILITY FOR THOSE THAT OUR COMMUNITY THAT NEED IT.

AND I'M VERY PROUD TO, UH, WORK ALONGSIDE YOU.

SO WITH THAT, I'LL TURN IT BACK OVER TO YOU.

UM, THANK YOU, BRANDY.

THANK YOU FOR THAT COMPREHENSIVE UPDATE FROM CAPITOL METRO.

WE APPRECIATE IT.

WE HAVE ABOUT 13 QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA.

SO AT THIS POINT, WE'RE GOING TO TURN THINGS OVER TO OUR POOL REPORTER FOR THE DAY, JENNIFER SANDERS, WITH KX AND JENNIFER.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING OUR REPORTER TODAY.

QUICK NOTE, WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO GET TO AS MANY QUESTIONS AS POSSIBLE.

SO A REMINDER TO TRY TO KEEP YOUR ANSWERS COMPLETE YET SUCCINCT, JENNIFER, I TURN IT OVER TO YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THE FIRST QUESTION IS FROM KUT.

HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES AUSTIN WATER ESTIMATE ARE WITHOUT WATER RIGHT NOW? AND WHAT ARE YOU RECOMMENDING FOR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE WATER AND ELECTRICITY IN TERMS OF OUTAGE? I DON'T HAVE AN EXACT NUMBER, BUT IT'S MANY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF LARGE SEGMENTS OF OUR SYSTEM HAVE VERY LOW TO NO WATER.

AND, UH, AND SO IT'S, IT'S A LARGE PART OF OUR CUSTOMER BASE THAT IS EXPERIENCING THESE CONDITIONS.

UM, AS JACKIE INDICATED, UH, HOPEFULLY AUSTIN ENERGY WILL BE ABLE TO BRING MORE AND MORE CUSTOMERS ONLINE WITH POWER AND THEY'LL HAVE BETTER RESOURCES TO, UH, USE, UH, UH, STOVES AND OTHERS TO BOIL WATER AS WATER SERVICE RETURNS.

YOU KNOW, I KNOW JUAN IS WORKING, YOU KNOW, VERY HARD TO ESTABLISH, UH, WATER STATIONS AND BOTTLED WATER AND OTHER RESOURCES.

CERTAINLY WE ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO REACH OUT TO FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS AND OTHERS THAT MAY HAVE WATER SERVICE AND THAT THEY CAN MAYBE FILL UP JUGS OR OTHER SOURCES OF WATER, UH, FOR THEM TO, TO, UH, TO, TO BOIL OR TO USE.

OKAY.

AND THE OTHER PART OF THAT QUESTION, WHAT ARE YOU RECOMMENDING FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE WATER AND ELECTRICITY? WELL, AGAIN, AS I DESCRIBED, UH, YOU KNOW, REACHING OUT TO FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS, UH, YOU KNOW, UH, WORKING WITH OUR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE AS THEY STAND UP, UH, WATER DISTRIBUTION CENTERS, UH, THAT, THAT, THAT WOULD BE SOME OF THE OPTIONS.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KSAN, DID ANY CHANGES OR UPGRADES AT THE WATER PLANT FROM THE ZEBRA MUSSEL ATTACK OF 2019 HELP IN RESTORING THE PLANT'S OPERATIONS IN THE POWER LOSS THIS WEEK? IF SO, WHAT WERE THE CHANGES THAT DIRECTLY HELPED? NO, THE ZEBRA MUSSEL CONTROLS WE PUT IN PLACE ARE REALLY SMALL CHEMICAL SYSTEMS AND THEY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IMPACTING OUR RESPONSE OR, OR THE RESULTS OF THIS COLD WEATHER INCIDENT.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM SUN RADIO, THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS ARE GOING TO BE SURPRISED WHEN THEIR WATER BACK AND THEIR HOUSES MIGHT START FLOODING WILL THE CITY AND AUSTIN WATER MAKE EFFORTS TO ALERT THE PUBLIC WHEN THIS HAPPENS.

SO RESIDENTS CAN PREPARE, FOR EXAMPLE, USING REVERSE NINE 11 TEXT ALERTS OR RESIDENT PORTALS.

YES, WE WILL BE COORDINATING WITH THE AUSTIN WATER DEPARTMENT AND WE'LL BE USING THAT NOT ONLY REVERSED THEM TO WARREN, BUT ALL THOSE OTHER SOCIAL MEDIAS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE COMMUNICATE.

UH, AND, UM, UH, I WOULD ADD TO THAT, UH, WATER SERVICE, UH, YOU KNOW, MAYBE RESTORED SUDDENLY IN AREAS AS RESERVOIRS ARE FILLING UP AND WATER SERVICES BEING RESTORED.

UH, CUSTOMERS NEED TO PREPARE FOR THAT AND THEY CAN TAKE STEPS.

NOW, UH, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THEY CAN DO IS CHECK ALL OF THEIR FAUCETS AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE TURNED OFF SO THAT WHEN THE WATER SERVICE STARTS UP AGAIN, THAT WE'RE NOT SEEING A LOT OF WATER LOSS OR UNEXPECTED WATER FLOW.

CUSTOMERS NEED TO KNOW WHERE THEIR WATER TURN-OFF IS.

UH, IF THEY HAVE A HOME, THERE'S A WATER TURN-OFF VALVE AT THEIR METER, AND THEY NEED TO KNOW WHERE THAT IS AND HOW TO OPERATE THAT, THAT, THAT SAYS SOMETHING THAT EVERY HOMEOWNER SHOULD UNDERSTAND, THAT KNOW HOW TO DO AS THE FIRE CHIEF SAID, UH, WE NEED TO, UH, TAKE OPPORTUNITIES

[00:40:02]

TO ALSO KNOW WHERE OUR LANDLORDS ARE, WHAT THEIR NUMBERS ARE.

IF YOU LIVE IN AN APARTMENT, UH, OR, OR A RANCHER WHERE WE CAN CALL AND TO, AND GET HELP FROM OUR LANDLORDS.

IF WE SEE A WATER LEAK OR WATER BREAK IN OUR PLACE OF BUSINESS, OUR HOME.

SO I THINK THERE ARE IMPORTANT STEPS THAT CAN BE TAKEN NOW IN PREPARATION FOR RESTORING WATER SERVICE.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM UNIVISION, CAN YOU PROVIDE AN UPDATE OF THE NUMBER OF RESIDENTS WHOSE POWER HAS BEEN RESTORED? YES.

THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION.

CURRENTLY, WE HAVE, UM, RESTORED, UM, UP TO, UH, 90, ALMOST 92% OF OUR CUSTOMERS.

AND CURRENTLY, UH, WE'RE SEEING, UH, JUST OVER 42,000 CUSTOMERS, UM, WHO ARE WAITING TO BE RESTORED AND WE'RE WORKING THROUGH THAT PROCESS.

WE HAVE CREWS, UH, ON THE GROUND.

WE HAVE FOLKS IN OUR DISPATCH CENTER MONITORING ALL OF OUR EQUIPMENT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE DOING THAT SAFELY.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM FOX SEVEN, WHAT IS THE CITY DOING TO HELP THE ELDERLY RESIDENTS IN THE RBJ BUILDING? YEAH, SO I HAD A LITTLE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES HERE.

UH, WE ARE WORKING WITH THE AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE AWESOME FIRE DEPARTMENT TO ASSESS THE SITUATION IN THAT FACILITY.

AND WE'RE WORKING WITH THEM TO SEE WHAT WE CAN DO.

SO, UH, TO PROVIDE ANY ASSISTANCE THAT WE CAN AND IN AN EFFORT SO THAT THEY, THEY, UM, THEY CAN STAY WHERE THEY'RE AT.

UH, AND WE'RE WORKING, WE'LL BE WORKING WITH, UH, WITH THEM TO SEE WHAT OTHER SERVICES WE CAN FACILITATE.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, WE SAW REPORTS YESTERDAY OF HOSPITALS, EVACUATING PATIENTS DUE TO LOW WATER PRESSURE.

CAN YOU PROVIDE AN UPDATE ON WHICH HOSPITALS AND HOW MANY PATIENTS HAVE BEEN AFFECTED AND THE CITY'S EFFORTS IN THIS REGARD? UM, WE'RE, WE'RE, WE'RE RECORDING THAT WITH OUR MEDICAL EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER, WHICH INCLUDES ALL OF THE HOSPITALS ARE PUBLIC HEALTH AND OUR FIRE AND EMS AGENCIES, AND WE'RE WORKING TO RESOLVE THOSE ISSUES WITHIN THOSE HOSPITALS.

I DON'T HAVE THE SPECIFIC DETAILS AT THIS POINT IN TIME, BUT I CAN PROVIDE THAT INFORMATION AFTER THIS, UH, THIS INTERVIEW.

THANK YOU.

AND I BELIEVE ALL STATIONS WOULD LIKE THAT.

WE APPRECIATE THAT.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE, HAS AUSTIN ENERGY RECEIVED ANY INDICATION THAT FROM ARCOT THAT THE UTILITY MAY NEED TO SHUT DOWN CIRCUITS AGAIN, IF THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN, CAN YOU GIVE AN ESTIMATE ON HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE FOR 100% OF CUSTOMERS TO HAVE POWER BACK ON? SO AT THIS TIME WE HAVE, WE DO NOT HAVE AN INDICATION THAT ERCOT WILL BE ASKING US TO, UH, REDUCE OUR LOAD ON THE ERCOT SYSTEM.

WE CONTINUE TO MONITOR THAT AND WE'RE WORKING DILIGENTLY TO BRING CUSTOMERS BACK ONLINE.

AS I TALKED ABOUT EARLIER IN MY COMMENTS, UM, WE HAVE PEOPLE ON THE GROUND THEY'RE WORKING WITH OUR DISPATCH CREWS, SO THAT WE CAN DO THIS IN A CONTROLLED AND METHODICAL MANNER.

WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL THAT WE DON'T HAVE CIRCUITS THAT ARE ENERGIZED, WHERE WE HAVE CREWS WORKING AND INADVERTENTLY CREATE HAZARDOUS SITUATIONS FOR THEM.

THIS IS A MATTER OF, OF SAFETY, ESSENTIAL SAFETY, AND MAKING SURE THAT WE'RE DOING THIS IN A CONTROLLED FASHION, BUT JUST LIKE WE HAD TO BRING CIRCUITS DOWN, UM, CONTROLLED.

WE HAVE TO BRING CIRCUITS BACK UP CONTROLLED AS WE'RE DOING THAT.

WE'RE IDENTIFYING ADDITIONAL HAZARDS OR SITUATIONS THAT WEREN'T KNOWN WHEN THE SYSTEM WASN'T ENERGIZED BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T CREATING PROBLEMS. AND SO WE MAY HAVE TO SECTIONALIZE AND GO THROUGH THIS IN A MORE GRANULAR MANNER IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DON'T OVERLOAD CIRCUITS.

AND SO, AS WE WORK THROUGH THIS PROCESS RIGHT NOW, I WISH I COULD TELL YOU AND GIVE YOU THAT ESTIMATE, BUT THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT CAN HELP US FOR THOSE OF THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE POWER RIGHT NOW, CONTINUE TO LIMIT YOUR USE, UM, KEEP YOUR THERMOSTAT AT 68 DEGREES OR LOWER, UM, ONLY USE THOSE

[00:45:01]

DEVICES AND THINGS THAT YOU REALLY NEED TO USE.

UM, AND THEN FOR OUR CUSTOMERS THAT HAVE BEEN WITHOUT POWER, ONE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT WE SEE AS WE'RE TRYING TO ENERGIZE CIRCUITS IS A PHENOMENON CALLED COLD COLD LOAD PICK-UP.

SO WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT, THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN LEFT ON YOUR THERMOSTAT, MAYBE SET AT A HIGHER LEVEL.

UM, YOUR DISHWASHER MAY HAVE BEEN IN THE MIDDLE OF A CYCLE.

YOU MAY HAVE LIGHTS ON OR OTHER DEVICES.

UM, AND SO WHEN THE, THE CIRCUIT IS RESTORED AND POWER IS RETURNED TO YOUR HOME, THERE IS A REQUIREMENT AND INSTANTANEOUS REQUIREMENT FOR A LOT OF ENERGY TO FLOW.

AND THAT CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR US IN TRIP CIRCUITS BACK OUT.

SO IF YOU CAN, AND IF YOU CAN DO SO SAFELY, MINIMIZE THOSE IMPACTS BY LOWERING YOUR THERMOSTAT AND SHUTTING OFF APPLIANCES, TURNING OFF LIGHTS, AND YOU MIGHT WANT TO LEAVE ONE LIGHT ON SO THAT, YOU KNOW, WHEN THE POWER HAS BEEN RESTORED, I CAN TELL YOU, OUR CREWS ARE GOING TO WORK.

THEY'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO WORK 24 HOURS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

AND HOPEFULLY WITHIN THE NEXT, YOU KNOW, SEVERAL DAYS, WE WILL BE ABLE TO HAVE POWER RESTORED RESTORED TO ALL OF OUR CUSTOMERS.

UM, THERE ARE GOING TO BE SOME OUTLIERS.

THESE WEATHER CONDITIONS ICING, UM, THE IMPACTS TO VEGETATION, ALL OF THAT HAS TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, BUT WE'RE NOT STOPPING.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO QUIT UNTIL EVERY HOME AS THEIR POWER RESTORED.

SO EVERY BUSINESS HAS THEIR POWER RESTORED.

THANK YOU.

THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM OSTEOPENIA COUNCIL MEMBER, ALISON ALTER WROTE IN AN EMAIL UPDATE EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON THAT THE BOIL WATER NOTICE QUOTE IS A PRECAUTIONARY ACTION IN QUOTE, AND THAT QUOTE, AUSTIN WATER HAS NOT DETECTED CONTAMINANTS IN THE WATER.

THEY ARE PROVIDING INPUT.

HOW LIKELY IS IT THAT THE WATER IS CONTAMINATED AND WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN FOR THE ORDER TO BE LIFTED? WELL, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S IN THE WATER WHENEVER HAVE A LOW PRESSURE EVENT.

THERE IS A RISK ALBEIT SMALL THAT A GROUNDWATER OR OTHER SOURCES COULD HAVE GOTTEN INTO THE SYSTEM.

SO IT'S REQUIRED AND APPROPRIATE FOR US TO ISSUE A BOIL WATER NOTICE.

SO EVEN THOUGH THE RISK IS LOW AND WE DON'T KNOW OF ANY PARTICULAR SOURCE OF CONTAMINATION, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT CUSTOMERS BOIL THEIR WATER BEFORE CONSUMING IT, EITHER COOKING OR DRINKING OR TEETH BRUSHING.

SO, UH, ALTHOUGH THE RISK IS LOW, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT ZERO.

AND WE REALLY WANT CUSTOMERS TO, TO BOIL THE WATER AND NOT GET COMPLACENT IN TERMS OF CLEARING THE SYSTEM.

AS I INDICATED IN MY OPENING REMARKS, REALLY TWO STEPS, THE FIRST STEP IS STABILIZING PRESSURES, MAKING SURE OUR SYSTEM HAS ADEQUATE PRESSURES ABOVE 20 PSI.

ONCE WE DEMONSTRATE THAT WE HAVE SUSTAINED PRESSURES RETURNED, WE'LL TAKE BACTERIOLOGICAL SAMPLES, WE'LL SAMPLE THE WATER, TAKE IT TO OUR LAB, TEST IT.

AND, UH, AND IF THOSE TESTS COME BACK CLEAR, BUT WE'LL BE ABLE TO HAVE THE WATER CERTIFIED SAFE FOR DRINKING AGAIN, THIS NEXT QUESTION FROM KBU, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU ALL ARE FACING TO RESTORE WATER NOW THAT THE TREATMENT PLANTS ARE RUNNING? THE CHALLENGE IS IT HAS TO BE DONE IN A METHODICAL STEP-BY-STEP BASIS.

WE SIMPLY CAN'T TURN ON BIG PARTS OF THE SYSTEM.

AND, UH, AND IT'S ALL BACK TO NORMAL.

WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF LEAKS, UH, CUSTOMERS, AS THE, AS THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, KATIE, THEY HAVE RESPONDED TO THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF BURST PIPES AND OTHER LEAKS.

SO THOSE SYSTEMS HAVE TO BE REPAIRED.

THOSE SYSTEMS HAVE TO BE TURNED OFF AT THE PRIVATE, UH, LOCATIONS.

AND, UH, AND, UH, WE'RE GIVEN TIME, UH, FOR THAT TO HAPPEN.

THE OTHER PART IS THERE ARE KNOWN LEAKS AND UNKNOWN LEAKS IN OUR SYSTEM.

NOW WITH THOSE COLD TEMPERATURES, OUR INFRASTRUCTURE SYSTEMS ARE NOT BUILT FOR COLD WEATHER THAT IS SUSTAINED IN SINGLE DIGITS.

SO AS FREEZING TEMPERATURES TAKE PLACE HAS GROUND SHIFTS UNDER FROZEN CONDITIONS.

IT CAN RUPTURE LINES, AND IF IT RUPTURES BIG LINES, THEY CAN LEAK ME INS OF GALLONS OF WATER.

AND SO WE HAVE TO BRING THE SYSTEM UP STEP-BY-STEP AND LOCATE ANY OF THOSE MAJOR LEAKS SO WE CAN ISOLATE THEM AND REPAIR

[00:50:01]

THEM.

IF WE TRY TO BRING IT UP TOO RAPIDLY, ALL THE WATER WILL LEAK OUT AGAIN.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE JUST DON'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN.

UH, ON, UH, WEDNESDAY, TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING, WHEN THIS PEAKED OUT, WE WERE LOSING 325 MILLION GALLONS OF WATER AT OUR PEAK.

THAT IS AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF WATER, NOTHING I'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE, UH, AT THAT, AT THAT RATE.

AND SO THAT'S WHAT WE'RE MANAGING TO NOT RETURN TO THAT STATE OF AFFAIRS, WHERE A HUNDRED MILLION GALLONS OF WATER TO LEAK OUT OF OUR SYSTEM IN ONE NIGHT, JENNIFER JUST WANTED TO TAKE A, DO A QUICK TIME CHECK.

WE HAVE FIVE MINUTES LEFT FOR QUESTIONS, FIVE MINUTES.

THE NEXT QUESTION WE'RE ROLLING BLACKOUTS EVER REALLY IMPLEMENTED PEOPLE HAD NO IDEA THAT THEY WOULD BE WITHOUT POWER FOR THREE DAYS.

WE'RE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET.

DOES THE CITY HAVE A PLAN FOR BETTER COMMUNICATION WITH RESIDENTS? SO AS THE SITUATION PROGRESSED ON SUNDAY EVENING AND INTO MONDAY MORNING, WHAT ERCOT SAW WAS A SIGNIFICANT DECLINE IN THE OVERALL POWER SUPPLY FOR THE STATEWIDE GRID.

AT THE SAME TIME WITH COLD TEMPERATURES, THE LOAD REMAINED, OR THE DEMAND ON THE SYSTEM REMAINED HIGH.

THEY COULD NOT LET THE SUPPLY OF ELECTRICITY COME BELOW THE, UH, DEMAND THAT WAS ON THE SYSTEM.

AND THEY IMMEDIATELY STARTING ASKING ALL OF US THAT ARE CONNECTED TO ERCOT TO START REDUCING OUR LOADS BASED ON OUR LOAD REQUIREMENTS SHARE WHEN THEY DID THAT, THEY DID THAT IN A VERY QUICK FASHION.

AND WE AS A UTILITY AFTER DESIGNATE AND PLAN FOR EMERGENCY, WE HAVE CIRCUITS THAT WE'VE IDENTIFIED THAT ARE AVAILABLE, UM, TO REDUCE LOAD WHEN SUCH CONDITIONS OCCUR SO THAT ERCOT CAN SAVE THE OVERALL ELECTRIC GRID.

IF THEY DIDN'T TAKE THESE ACTIONS, THE GRID WOULD GO BLACK POWER ACROSS THE ENTIRE STATE.

WITHIN THE ERCOT FOOTPRINT WOULD GO DOWN.

EVERYBODY WOULD BE WITHOUT POWER.

THE MEASURES THAT WOULD BE REQUIRED TO START THE SYSTEM BACK UP ARE TREMENDOUS THEY'RE COMPLEX.

IT'S NOT A MATTER OF DAYS, IT'S A MATTER OF WEEKS AND IT WOULD BE MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO DO WHAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO OVERNIGHT AND INTO TODAY TO TURN LIGHTS BACK ON AND GET HOMES ENERGIZED.

SO WHEN THAT HAPPENED AND IT HAPPENED SO QUICKLY, WE MAXED OUT ON ALL OF THE CIRCUITS THAT WE HAD AVAILABLE TO US TO INITIATE ROTATING OUTAGES.

SO THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT TO TURN OFF.

WE WOULD'VE HAD TO TAP INTO CRITICAL LOAD CIRCUITS, CRITICAL LOAD CIRCUITS INCLUDE THINGS LIKE HOSPITALS, FIRE STATIONS, CONTROL CENTERS, NINE ONE, ONE OPERATIONS, THINGS THAT ARE CRITICAL TO THE OPERATIONS OF OUR COMMUNITY.

AND SO ONCE WE GOT TO THAT POINT, WE HAD NO ROOM TO TAKE A CIRCUIT OUT AND ALLOW ANOTHER CIRCUIT TO COME BACK ON THE SUSTAINED CONDITIONS OF THAT FORCED US TO REACH OUT TO CUSTOMERS AS IT CONTINUED, AS WE CONTINUED TO GET DIRECTIVES, TO REDUCE LOAD EVEN FURTHER, WE WORKED WITH OUR PARTNERS AND THEY HELPED US BY REDUCING OUR LOAD.

AND WE HAD TO STAY THERE UNTIL THE SYSTEM STABILIZED AND BEARCAT ALLOWED US TO START REDUCING OUR, TO START RESTORING POWER TO OUR CUSTOMERS.

THAT'S THE PROCESS THAT WE ARE CURRENTLY IN.

AS WE RESTORE THESE CIRCUITS, IT CONTINUES TO GIVE US THIS HEADWAY.

AND IF ANOTHER EVENT IS CALLED, BECAUSE IT'S IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT THE WEATHER CONDITIONS AND WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE ENTIRE SYSTEM, WE WILL BE BETTER POSITIONED AS LONG AS WE'RE NOT REQUIRED TO EXCEED THE NUMBER OF CIRCUITS WE HAVE AVAILABLE THE ROTATING OUTAGES.

JACKIE, JUST A QUICK REMINDER.

WE HAVE, WE HAVE TIME FOR ONE MORE QUICK QUESTION.

WE DO HAVE A HARD STOP MEETING COMING UP THAT OUR FOLKS HAVE TO GET TO ONE LAST QUESTION.

AND THEN WE'LL WRAP WITH THE CITY MANAGER.

PEOPLE ARE DESPERATE FOR A TIMELINE ON WHEN THEIR WATER WILL BE RESTORED.

CAN YOU GIVE ANY KIND OF ESTIMATE ON A TIMELINE FOR

[00:55:01]

WATER RESTORATION DAYS OR WEEKS? IS THERE AN OUTAGE MAP WITH THOSE RESTORATION TIMES? UH, IT'S GOING TO BE A MULTI-DAY PROCESS TO RESTORE PRESSURE AND SERVICE, AND THEN CLEAR THE SYSTEM FOR USE.

AS JACKIE INDICATED, IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT TO GIVE PRECISE TIMELINES FOR PORTIONS OF OUR SECTION OF OUR SYSTEM.

WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE DON'T KNOW, AND WE DON'T KNOW WHERE LEAKS ARE.

WE DON'T KNOW HOW BAD THOSE LEAKS ARE GOING TO BE.

WE DON'T KNOW HOW LONG SOME OF THEM ARE GOING TO TAKE TO FIX EVERY HOUR THAT GOES BY.

WE HAVE MORE KNOWLEDGE AND WE'RE ABLE TO BETTER FORECAST, UH, HOW SYSTEMS ARE COMING UP RIGHT NOW.

WE CONSIDER ALL OF OUR SYSTEMS. WE HAVE THREE MAJOR PRESSURE ZONES, CENTRAL NORTH AND SOUTH.

THEY'RE ALL RATED CRITICAL.

AND, UH, AND WE WANT TO BRING THOSE UP INTO, INTO YELLOW AND GREEN ZONES AS WE WORK TO BRING THESE SYSTEMS AND CORRECT THEM.

WE REALLY JUST DON'T KNOW RIGHT NOW, CUSTOMERS THAT DON'T HAVE WATER.

IT'S BETTER TO PLAN FOR WORST CONDITIONS, DAYS WITHOUT WATER RATHER THAN HOURS.

AND WE WOULD ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO TAKE WHATEVER STEPS THEY CAN TO TRY TO WORK THROUGH A, A MULTI-DAY OUTAGE AND, UH, AND ULTIMATELY RETURNED TO NORMAL SERVICE.

ARE THERE SPECIFIC AREAS OF FOCUS THAT HAVE BEEN WITHOUT WATER FOR 24 HOURS THAT YOU ALL ARE AND WHERE SHOULD THESE PEOPLE GO FOR UPDATES? UH, OUR WEBSITE AND MEDIA RELEASES, THESE KINDS OF UPDATES, UH, WILL BE AREAS THAT WILL BE PROVIDING INFORMATION.

OUR PRIORITY IS OUR CENTRAL PRESSURE DISTRICT, WHICH SERVES THE CORE OF THE CITY, A GOOD PART OF THESE AUSTIN AND AREAS SOUTH OF THE RIVER.

EVERYTHING IS BUILT ON TOP OF THE CENTRAL DISTRICT AND WE'RE WORKING TO ESTABLISH AND IMPROVE THE CENTRAL DISTRICT.

AND IT'S A LARGE DISTRICT.

THERE'LL BE, UH, PHASES TO THAT.

AND WITHIN THAT ALL HOSPITAL SYSTEMS ARE THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY.

OUR GOAL IS TO GET THE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS OPERATIONAL IN THE CENTRAL DISTRICT, AND THEN BE WORKING IN HOSPITAL SYSTEMS OUTSIDE OF THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT WOULD INCLUDE OTHER, UH, TREATMENT FACILITIES.

UH, THEY MENTIONED LIKE DIALYSIS IS VERY, UH, VERY SENSITIVE TO WATER.

WE'RE WORKING TO GET DIALYSIS CENTERS GOING.

THAT, THAT THAT'S THE NUMBER ONE GOAL IS TO GET THESE CORE HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS UP AND RUNNING AND RUNNING RELIABLY AND SUSTAINABLY.

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, JENNIFER, FOR THOSE QUESTIONS AND, UM, DIRECTOR MASCARAS FOR, UM, TAKING OUR LAST QUESTION WITH THAT.

WE NEED TO QUICKLY WRAP THINGS UP.

I TURN THINGS OVER TO CITY MANAGER, CRONK, WHO IS AT THE EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER CENTER.

SPENCER, THANK YOU, ALICIA.

AND I KNOW YOU'RE TIRED AND I KNOW YOU'RE FRUSTRATED AND YOU WANT CERTAINTY ABOUT SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WILL BE COMING BACK ONLINE.

WE KNOW THAT THE INFORMATION THAT WE PROVIDED YOU TODAY DID NOT PROVIDE THAT LEVEL OF CERTAINTY, BUT WE COMMIT TO GIVING YOU AS MUCH INFORMATION AS WE HAVE AT THE TIME, GIVEN THE SITUATION.

THIS IS A MULTI DAY COMPLEX CRISIS THAT OUR COMMUNITY IS IN, AND WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO HELP OUR MOST VULNERABLE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE LOOKING AFTER OURSELVES AND EACH OTHER NEIGHBORS, HELPING NEIGHBORS DOING WHAT THEY CAN.

YOU HAVE A APPARATUS OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT RESOURCES THAT ARE WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE ADDRESSING THESE CRITICAL NEEDS, BUT WE DO CONTINUE TO ASK FOR YOUR PATIENTS.

AND WITH THAT I'LL CLOSE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, EVERYONE FOR JOINING US TODAY, A REMINDER FOR UPDATE UP TO DATE ON WINTER WEATHER, RESPONSE INFORMATION, PLEASE FOLLOW US.

AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV/WEATHER INFO.

THAT IS AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV/WEATHER INFO IN SPANISH.

IT IS AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV INFO.

AUSTIN, TEXAS.GOV/INFO TO GO ONCE AGAIN.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY.

THAT CONCLUDES OUR NEWS CONFERENCE.

.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.