Community braces for sixth night of bitter cold


Managing Editor

While everyone across Liberty Hill is hoping for a Wednesday reprieve from nearly a week of sub-freezing temperatures, there is one night left to navigate.

Regular power outages have compounded the icy road conditions, and by Tuesday afternoon both Liberty Hill and the western end of the Georgetown water service area were under a boil water notice due to pressure issues.

Some electric customers in the area have gone lengthy stretches without power, while everyone else has dealt with rolling outages dictated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), designed to keep the state’s power grid functioning under the higher than usual demand.

There has been no indication when the boil water notices might be lifted, but the City of Liberty Hill issued a statement regarding the depleted water supply.

“Due to inclement weather and power outages to critical city infrastructure, water supply across the Liberty Hill is significantly impacted. Once the tanks are depleted, there may be total loss of water for customers. All water used until that point must be boiled for safety purposes. Full restoration of service is unknown at this time. We will continue to update as more information is available,” the statement read.

There has also been no indication of when all power would be restored or the rolling outages would end.

“These service interruptions will continue as long as the regional grid operator experiences peak demand. If an interruption occurs in your area, please take proactive steps for power restoration. All electrical appliances affected by the service disruption should be turned off, as well as circuit breakers to major appliances. Once power is restored, members can avoid electrical overload by turning their appliances back on in 15-minute intervals,” Pedernales Electric Cooperative said in a statement.

More to come tonight
Liberty Hill Police Chief Royce Graeter repeated the request for people to stay home and off the roads as temperatures dip again this evening and multiple rounds of precipitation including potential snow, sleet and freezing rain are expected overnight.

Most of the snow on the roads is covering a layer of ice, and any additional precipitation is expected to freeze on contact and create sheets of ice on roadways.

Liberty Hill ISD schools will continue to be closed through Thursday with students returning for remote instruction Friday.

City and County offices are closed, with minimal staffing. City meetings scheduled from Tuesday through Thursday evenings this week have been cancelled and the Thursday evening Town Hall for Liberty Hill ISD regarding the upcoming bond election has been postponed to Feb. 25.

Historic cold
The local temperature has not topped 32 degrees Fahrenheit since 5 p.m. Thursday, dipping as low as 9 degrees Monday night. Ice that formed after heavy rain Thursday has not melted, then as much as six inches of snow was added overnight Sunday.

The high Wednesday is forecast at 37 degrees late in the afternoon.