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Central Texas experienced historic winter weather the week of Feb. 14, with a stretch of days below freezing. Sleet followed snow followed freezing rain, leading to a breakdown of the electric grid and widespread power outages. Water reservoirs were depleted and frozen pipes burst, leaving some without service for days.

Austin Wants To Hear About Your Experiences During February's Winter Freeze

Pedestrians walk over ice and snow accumulated in the Travis Heights neighborhood on February 15 during the Texas freeze.
Gabriel C. Pérez
Pedestrians walk over ice and snow accumulated in the Travis Heights neighborhood on Feb. 15 during the Texas freeze. The city of Austin is asking for public comment on residents' experience during the winter storm.

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The city of Austin wants to hear from people hit hard by February’s severe winter weather. The Winter Storm Review Task Force, created after the deadly blackouts, is holding its final public virtual listening sessions this month.

The next listening session is Friday, June 11 at 6 p.m. The meetings will be streamed live on the city's website. The last listening session will be held June 23 at 6 p.m.

Community members and organizational representatives can share their experiences during and in the aftermath of the winter storms, and give recommendations on how Austin can better prepare for future disasters.

People wanting to speak remotely at the meetings must call or email the board liaison by noon the day prior at 512-974-6339 or

Participants are required to provide the following information:

  • Speaker name
  • Item number(s) on the task force's agenda they wish to speak on
  • Whether they are for, against, or neutral on those item numbers
  • Email address and telephone number (it must be the same number that will be used to call into the meeting)
  • If interpretation for any languages is need other than Spanish

After sending their request to the board liaison, participants will receive either an email or phone call with the information to call on the day of the scheduled meeting.

Speakers are asked to call in 15 minutes before the meeting starts. The city says late callers will not be accepted or allowed to participate.

People can also send their feedback online through June 30. Speak Up Austin set up a page where people can submit unique stories through written testimony, video or pictures. All story submissions will be archived at the Austin History Center.

A final report summarizing all the stories and meeting suggestions received will be presented to the Austin City Council in July.

Dani Matias is a former producer and fill-in host for KUT's Morning Edition show.
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