WINTER STORM IMPACT UPDATE FROM THE CITY OF DESOTO FOR WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021
- Written by Matt Smith Matt Smith
- Published: 17 February 2021 17 February 2021
DeSoto, TX - DeSoto’s temporary warming & overnight shelter moved on Wednesday to the Faith Bible Church, 1437 W Pleasant Run Rd, DeSoto, TX. The City of DeSoto has closed its site at the DeSoto Recreation Center.
The Faith Bible Church location provides a warm space for those seeking shelter during this period of extreme weather and power outages. The City is limited on supplies for those seeking shelter and is asking those who come to bring their own comfort supplies, bedding materials, and personal care items. Limited food/snack options will be available. Faith Bible Church is offering the only City-operated emergency shelter. The DeSoto Recreation Center is no longer available for this purpose. No pets are allowed and COVID precautions will be observed. For further information contact (972) 358-0861.
- In addition to online outreach and asking other City Departments to share this information, the City of DeSoto issued a Code Red message concerning rotating outages and this shelter move, and a Notify Me outreach effort about the new shelter location.
- Many residents in DeSoto and the region have been without power for extended periods of time. Some outages are caused by Texas power grid operator ERCOT on a rotating basis to prevent the Texas power grid from crashing. Others are due to extreme weather. Governor Abbott has announced that reforming the ERCOT is now an Emergency Item: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-declares-ercot-reform-an-emergency-item
- Oncor Energy continued to address storm issues non-stop and caution that customers should be prepared to go without power for an extended period of time. Here is a link to an informational posting from Oncor that explains the issues with the Texas energy grid and ERCOT’s role in “rotating” power use: https://thewire.oncor.com/pages/article.html#oncor__emergency_operations_feb_15_afternoon_update
- For future use after the winter storm, Oncor’s outage line is: 1-888-313-4747/SWRCC: 972-223-6161, and their link to report outages: https://stormcenter.oncor.com/external/default.html/
- Due to ongoing weather concerns and power outages, all City of DeSoto facilities including the DeSoto City Hall, Public Library, and Recreation Center will be closed to the public tomorrow, Wednesday, February 17th.
- Essential workers identified by each department are required to report to work as directed by their Department Heads. Non-essential workers who are able to work from home and have permission from their Department Head are authorized to work from home.
- DeSoto’s Municipal Court, located in City Hall, already delivers many of its key services online. While the building will be closed, those who need to resolve their court cases can text the Municipal Court Clerk at 972-737-7558 or video conference the Judge between 8 AM and 4 PM on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, by going to https://zoom.us/join , click JOIN a meeting, and type in MEETING ID 582-661-129 Ticket payments can also be made to the court online. https://trafficpayment.com/SearchByInvoiceInfo.aspx?csdId=501&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
- Republic Services has notified the City of DeSoto that they will not be collecting trash on Thursday due to weather impacts. Here’s what they told us: “Because of the continued hazardous road conditions we will not be running tomorrow. We will run Friday’s regular trash on Friday and will resume the regular collection schedule on Monday, February 22. Household trash will be our primary focus with limited bulk and brush collection next week.”
- There will be no meal delivery service Thursday for DeSoto Seniors registered with the DeSoto Senior Activity Center. The Senior Center checks in regularly with our Seniors. They also worked with the meal to provide shelf-stable ready-to-eat meals earlier in the week to help carry them through. Service will resume once the streets are safe and drivable. Parks & Recreation will update this status on their social media platforms and via voicemail at the Senior Activity Center: 972-230-5825.
- Atmos Energy is asking residents who use their natural gas services to try can conserve that during this stretch of severe weather. Here is a link to their flyer explaining this: https://www.ci.desoto.tx.us/DocumentCenter/View/18783/Feb-16-Atmos-ER-Energy-Tips
- Texas HHS warns of carbon monoxide dangers. With power outages from this week’s winter storm affecting large portions of Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services is urging people to use extreme caution with electric generators and heat sources that produce carbon monoxide. Generators should only be placed outdoors at least 10 feet away from buildings. They should never be operated indoors or in garages. Likewise, cars should not be run inside a garage, even with the door open, because carbon monoxide can build up, leading to death. Outdoor grills, camp stoves, and other appliances meant for open-air use should not be used to heat a home because they, too, create carbon monoxide. People without power can take steps to stay warm by Closing blinds or curtains to trap heat inside, Closing off rooms to avoid wasting heat, Stuffing towels or rags in cracks under doors, Eating and drinking because food can warm the body, Wear multiple layers of warm, loose-fitting clothing. Those who need a warm place to go due to the winter weather affecting Texas can locate approximately 200 warming centers across the state at tdem.texas.gov/warming-centers.
- Dallas County HHS Provided this status update for the Fair Park Mega Vaccination Site: Given below freezing temps during the week, Fair Park vaccine operations will remain closed through Saturday, February 20. Said the County: “We are continuing to monitor the weather and are balancing the need to keep everyone safe against the urgency of timely administering the second doses of the vaccine. As soon as we can safely open again, we will. We will have sufficient supply of the vaccine to ensure all those who received their first dose of the vaccine at Fair Park can receive their second dose. When we reopen, only those needing second doses will be seen until we catch up, and we will start with those who are most delayed in their second dose. Please be patient as there are many who need their second dose and we must space out individuals to ensure timely and safe delivery. CDC guidance is that second doses of the vaccine may be administered up to 6 weeks after the first dose. While we plan to accommodate those needing a second dose much sooner than that, please know that the CDC does allow for a 42-day timeframe. For more information and to check for any weather-related updates on Fair Park vaccine operations, please visit www.DallasCountyCovid.org
- Dallas County reported continued low new case numbers, and, unfortunately, high death totals. 35 people died from COVID-19. We still need to do everything that we can to stop the spread of this killer virus. Here is their Feb 17th news release: https://www.ci.desoto.tx.us/DocumentCenter/View/18791/2172021-Press-Release---Dallas-County-Reports-Additional-Positive-2019-Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19-Cases
- STAR Transit has announced in their Wednesday, February 17th, 4 PM Service Alert, “Due to ongoing winter storm and road conditions, STAR Transit continues to suspend all bus service through tomorrow (Thursday, 2/18). Further updates regarding service for Friday are forthcoming. The Call Center will open at 8:00 am for rescheduling purposes. Please stay warm and safe!”
- We strongly advise residents to continuously monitor local television weather forecasts, especially the National Weather Service (NWS) for the next few days. We realize that power interruptions can make that difficult but if you are online reading this you have access to all of this at https://www.weather.gov/fwd/ . You should also watch the news, weather, and traffic on DFW area television stations for a solid overview of conditions and hazards.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE/UPDATED FORECAST: Detailed Forecast
Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. Wind chill values between 9 and 14. North wind 10 to 15 mph.
Thursday: Mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near 29. Wind chill values between 7 and 17. North northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 15. Wind chill values between 3 and 13. North northwest wind around 10 mph.
Friday: Sunny, with a high near 34. Wind chill values between 3 and 13. North northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south southeast in the afternoon.
Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 20. South wind around 10 mph.
Saturday: Patchy drizzle afternoon. Partly sunny, with a high near 39. South wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
COLD WEATHER TIPS FOR DESOTO RESIDENTS:
- Listen to weather and travel advice provided by local TV News, Radio News, the National Weather Service (NWS), and by Texas DOT. Most informed voices advise staying inside and off of the roadways.
- Driving can be dangerous during this period of severe winter weather, but if you must head out, please read & heed these safety tips!: ttps://www.facebook.com/NWSDallasFortWorth/photos/a.140805919289363/3747458108624108/
- Uninsulated pipes can freeze in below-freezing weather. To help prevent this please keep a slight trickle of water running into your sink. Also, make sure your sink’s drain is open.
- f your water pipes face an outside wall, open the cabinets in that area so the warmth of the interior can reach your pipes.
- f you find a frozen pipe, DO NOT use a blow torch or open flame to attempt to defrost it. It could be a gas line. If you must try to thaw a frozen water pipe, and you’re sure it’s a water pipe, a hairdryer would be a safer choice.
- Sign-up for emergency weather alerts from the National Weather Service via DeSoto’s Code Red notification system. www.desototexas.gov/codered or https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/02F163C00AB4
- If you are facing a life-threatening emergency please call 9-1-1.
Matt Smith/DeSoto Coms Manager