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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.

Here's How The Winter Storm Is Affecting Williamson County And Where To Go For Help

Icicles hang from a railing.
Julia Reihs

Oncor energy has stopped controlled, or rotating, outages as a result of "increased generation and stable demand," it said in a release.

Fewer than 2,000 Oncor customers in Williamson County were still experiencing outages Saturday morning. The company said the remaining outages are a result of storm damage.

"Our field personnel will continue working 24/7 to restore power to remaining customers," it said in the release.

The company said it expects the majority of restoration to be complete by Sunday morning.

Oncor said it was waiting to hear from ERCOT, which regulates the state's energy grid, about when it could restore service. The company said it does not "generate electricity or control or operate generation facilities,” but only delivers it.

The company is encouraging people in need to take shelter at community centers if possible.

Boil-water notices spread

People in a number of cities in Williamson County are being told to boil or conserve water this week, following outages at water-treatment facilities. That includes residents of Pflugerville, Leander, Taylor, Hutto, and parts of Georgetown including Florence, Liberty Hill and The Westinghouse area.

Georgetown has lifted the boil water notice for customers in:

  • The Leander Road/FM2243 area, from Southwest Bypass to Garey Park and the Parkside Parkway area, from FM2243 to Sam Bass Road (1,300 customers)
  • D.B. Wood Road/HWY-29 area, bound by IH-35, D.B. Wood Road, HWY 29, and Williams Drive. The includes the area of Booty’s Crossing Road, Serenada Neighborhood, portions of Berry Creek Neighborhood, and Wolf Ranch Northfork and Southfork (3,600 customers)
  • Areas west of Georgetown, including Santa Rita, Northlake, and Andice (about 11,000 customers)

Leander reported its water system was 30 percent restored as of Saturday. The city expects full restoration in 3-5 days.

Hutto and Taylor are running low on water and urging residents to conserve what they have.

Round Rock residents are not under a boil water notice, but the city is asking that people cut back on water usage to conserve electricity.

Water Distribution Centers

There are multiple water distribution centers open in Williamson County to help those with boil water notices and shortages.

Residents can go to the water filling station at the Cedar Park City Hall Buildings 3 and 4 Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A water filling station in Georgetown is open Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Georgetown Community Center. There is also a station open Sunday in Florence at the Florence City Hall from noon to 5 p.m.

Leander opened water filling sites at Akin Elementary, Pleasant Hill Elementary, and Rouse High School. The sites will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Water must be boiled before consumption.

Residents should bring their own containers to water filling stations.

Where to seek shelter

There are a number of cold weather shelters open in Williamson County, including:

  • Hill Country Bible Church Lakeline, 3300 Little Elm Trail, Cedar Park
  • Round Rock Baca Center, 301 West Bagdad Ave. #2, Round Rock
  • Georgetown Rec Center, 1003 North Austin Ave., Georgetown
  • (24/7) Church Shelter, The Austin Stone, 1150 McNeil Rd., Round Rock
  • Leander High School, 3301 South Bagdad Rd., Leander
  • Taylor ISD Main Street Intermediate School Event Center, 3101 Main Street, Taylor

Oxygen charging stations open

Williamson County has charging stations open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for people with rechargeable oxygen condensers.

  • WilCo Sheriff’s Office Training Room 508, S Rock St., Georgetown (open 24hrs)
  • Williamson County Inner Loop Annex, 301 SE Inner Loop, Georgetown
  • Hutto Police Department, 401 Front St., Hutto
  • Leander Police Department, 705 Leander Dr., Leander

The county says those offices will be open to people for this specific purpose only.

Allyson Ortegon is a former Williamson County reporter for KUT.
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