Arctic blast 2022: Houston and Harris County officials prepare residents for extreme weather

Briana Conner Image
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Action 13: Winter weather preparation
Harris County officials are closely monitoring the arctic front, but they are also optimistic that this won't be a repeat of the winter storm in February 2021.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County and Houston leaders are closely monitoring the arctic front, but they're also optimistic this won't be a repeat of the February 2021 winter storm or the massive, state-wide power outage.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Judge Lina Hidalgo, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and other officials held a press conference asking people to prepare.

SEE ALSO: Not sure how to prepare for arctic cold front? Here are the best ways to winterize your home

Hidalgo said the county checked with ERCOT and got the same response Eyewitness News did last week: the grid will hold.

"We've asked all the questions. What we know is what they tell us. My team had those conversations. They have weatherized a lot of the facilities," Hidalgo said.

She also said CenterPoint crews are ready to go to quickly fix power lines.

SEE ALSO: Can Texas' power grid handle this week's arctic blast? Energy experts weigh in

With the temperature dropping, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning also rises. This is why leaders are urging people not to bring their outdoor appliances indoors, and don't run their cars inside their garages to stay warm.

The Harris County Fire Marshal echoed the same safety message when it comes to space heaters and fireplaces. Chief Laurie Christensen said to ensure space heaters are clean before turning them on. Also, keep a three-foot kid safety kid zone.

Turner addressed the city's water plants. It was just last month when a water plant lost power in east Houston, dropping the water pressure and triggering a city-wide boil water notice.

SEE ALSO: Plumbing expert shares tips to winterize your home and save you money

"We've tested our generators and restarted them just to make sure that they are ready," Turner said. "Our teams have stocked up on fuel and chemicals, so our plants have everything they need if they should experience power outages. We're not expecting any, but we assume the worst and hope for the best."

The mayor also said rapid response teams are in place in case of any water leaks in the city.

ABC13 also got clarification from officials on whether you should drip your faucets.

SEE ALSO: Here's where you can go to keep warm when arctic blast hits Houston this week

People in the city of Houston's water system are asked not to leave faucets dripping because it could put a strain on the city's system and cause issues with water pressure. Officials say normal activities like washing dishes, showers, or laundry will keep water moving in your home and prevent freezing.

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