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Mayor Speaks on Power and Water Outages

Lorelei Day

Communications Coordinator

City of San Angelo, Texas

I am, as I know you are as citizens, extremely angry and, quite frankly, pissed at the little, intermittent, or nonexistent power situation in San Angelo. Of course, the lack of water has now added to the problems we are having to deal with.

We have, as the City, tried to obtain information from AEP. Their press releases are non-committal in terms of what to expect because ERCOT determines what they will or will not get or what will be clawed back. We as citizens and City officials need the information and the communication. It is unacceptable that we cannot get answers from AEP because they have to wait and see what ERCOT does or doesn't do in terms of releasing power and to what extent. AEP is very frustrated with the situation. The brownout strategy has not worked because they have not received the power they need to manage it.

I have had one-on-one conversations with Senator Perry, Representative Drew Darby and Congressman August Pfluger, as well as with Senator John Cornyn's office in Lubbock. They are aware of our situation. I have gone all the way up the ladder to express our lack of information and the nightmares in which our citizens are living.

Our Water Department is working 24/7 to fix the water situation. Due to below-freezing temperatures, the process has been difficult. Because all of the frozen water has not yet surfaced, the water leaks have been hard to find. We need citizens to help by letting us know if they see an area where there appears to be water leakage versus snowmelt.

We have requested more bottled water from the Texas Department of Emergency Management to distribute to citizens in need. I requested through the city manager's office on Monday for warming centers to be set up to address the individuals who have no heat. We quickly set up the McNease Convention Center Monday night and had more than 40 people staying on cots there. We reached capacity at the Convention Center today, so have expanded to the Stables at Fort Concho. These facilities will remain open as long as people continue to be without heat and water.

As mayor, I will continue to express and communicate my frustration to our state representatives and representatives in Washington, D.C. This perfect storm we are living with has exposed all kinds of infrastructure issues on a local level, yes, but the bigger picture is that the state infrastructure utilities plan failed us all.

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