Tomball - Magnolia Edition | March 2021

TAKING STEPS

done much else that we did. … Our stu is not built for this.” Following the storm, Magnolia City Council members approved a pro- posal to use mass-notication system Blackboard Connect for future emer- gency outreach March 10 instead of its current Nixle program. Police Chief Kyle Montgomery was also appointed emergency coordinator. With providers outside of the city also without water, MISD could not open its Magnolia Event Center as a warming center, Superintendent Todd Stephens said March 8. As such, the district is exploring adding a water well at the event center so the facility can be self-sucient. “One of the things that we did with this center was add a generator to it so we could open it as a shelter. The next step would be to put a well because if you don’t have water, it kind of makes it dicult to do one of the purposes that we built this for—to serve the com- munity,” trustee Travis Moatt said. Hunter Marrow, Adriana Rezal and Ben Thompson contributed to this report.

“ERCOT is 90%of the state of Texas, so that’s why they’re the rst in our committee hearings,” he said. “We will denitely be continuing [conver- sations with Entergy and MISO].” Local eects Beyond power outages, many res- idents found themselves without water for several days. Tomball and Magnolia city o- cials said prior to the mid-February storm, the cities had never lost their water systems. “As far as we know the system has functioned properly since it was built,” Magnolia City Administrator DonDoer- ing said. “The problem is when you get down to 7 degrees temperature for more than a couple hours, a lot of our pumps and pump motors are outside— they’re not housed in the building.” Both cities issued boil water notices following a lack of water pressure from systems freezing up. “The initial reports on the weather was that this storm was going to be heavily an ice-accumulation storm. … We geared up a lot for the ice accumu- lation, which it turned out we didn’t get any of that,” Tomball acting City Manager David Esquivel said. “I don’t know if in hindsight we could have

Magnolia entities shared plans to better prepare for inclement weather.

Magnolia City Council appointed police Chief Kyle Montgomery on March 10 to serve as its emergency coordinator.

The city of Magnolia approved a new mass-notication system for more ecient future emergency use and outreach, which will save the city $13,800 per year.

Magnolia ISD ocials said they are exploring the addition of a water well at the Magnolia Event Center to avoid having to rely on a local provider’s water system during an emergency.

SOURCES: CITY OF MAGNOLIA, MAGNOLIA ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

storm, Gov. Greg Abbott made ERCOT reform an emergency item during the 2021 Texas legislative session. The Legislature began hearings Feb. 25 with ERCOT, the PUC and other energy providers. Freezing weather has only led to two other incidents in ERCOT’s his- tory: once in December 1989 and again in February 2011. Following ERCOT’s challenges in 2011, the House Committee on State Aairs penned a report outlining the com- mittee’s “serious concerns with the

regulatory initiatives taken by” the PUC and ERCOT. But while ERCOT has come under re—CEO Bill Magness was red, its board of directors resigned, and Texas House and Senate hearings were held to investigate the grid failure—it is not clear if any action will be taken against MISO. When asked, state Rep. Will Met- calf, RConroe, did not say if similar scrutiny would be applied to Entergy or MISO but said there will be future discussions.

For more information, visit communityimpact.com .

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