Austonia daily newsletter—direct to your inbox 6 a.m.

become a member


Local elected officials announced food and water are en route to Austin as residents face concurrent power and water crises.

"Food and water is the highest priority that we have," Austin Mayor Steve Adler said during a Facebook live hosted by Travis County Judge Andy Brown on Thursday evening.

City officials ordered one million gallons of water in 16-ounce bottles from six states in the Southeastern U.S. that is due in the next couple of days. "Trucks are on their way," Brown said.

Additionally, the Texas Department of Emergency management is due to deliver two 18-wheelers full of water from a FEMA site in Fort Worth Friday morning.

National Guard members are also helping to get a "flotilla of delivery trucks" full of food from H-E-B storehouses in Temple and San Antonio to Austin, Adler said.

Freezing temperatures have left Austin roads coated with ice and snow, making supply chain distribution processes difficult. The winter weather and power outages have forced many area grocery stores to close; those that have remained open have been wiped bare by customers in need of provisions.

A surge in demand for water coupled with a power outage at the city's largest water treatment plant led Austin Water to issue a boil water notice on Wednesday evening, which remains in effect. Tens of thousands of customers are also facing water outages, Director Greg Meszaros said during a press conference earlier in the afternoon. Those who still have water may not have electricity to boil it for safe use and are encouraged to take conservation measures.

Although it will be a "multi-day process" to restore the water system, Meszaros said, there have been improvements in the city's ongoing power outage. As of 5:34 p.m., 40,231 Austin Energy customers were still impacted—or just under 8%. This is a significant improvement from Wednesday evening, when around 27% of customers were still facing outages.

Although the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which maintains around 90% of the state's power grid, is no longer mandating outages, local utilities such as Austin Energy have to restore power incrementally to avoid overloading the system. Additionally, some outages are due to damage from the winter weather, which will require on-site maintenance.

In addition to these updates, Austin Mayor Steve Adler also reminded residents that the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. Although Austin Public Health does not yet know when it will be able to resume vaccine appointments, the department and hub provider will be increasing its hours and the number of vaccine clinic locations to ensure vulnerable residents get their second shots, Adler said.


Hundreds of thousands are in Austin to watch the Verstappen vs. Hamilton rivalry at the U.S. Grand Prix. (Austonia)

In a win that brought on the passion from Formula 1's biggest rivals, 24-year-old Max Verstappen won his first U.S. Grand Prix as he bested seven-time champ Lewis Hamilton by less than a second at Austin's Circuit of the Americas on Sunday.

Keep Reading Show less

(Austin FC/Twitter)

Austin FC defeated its fellow Texas MLS team, Houston Dynamo FC, 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Q2 Stadium, marking the club's eighth win of its inaugural season.

Keep Reading Show less

Teammates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez took first and third at the U.S Grand Prix Qualifiers on Saturday. (Red Bull Racing Honda/Twitter)

In a one-hour sprint that may be nearly as dramatic as the big race itself, Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen won the top starting position for Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix in the race qualifiers on Saturday.

Keep Reading Show less