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The original item was published from 2/16/2021 5:08:52 PM to 2/16/2021 5:09:06 PM.

News Flash

City of Coppell Newsroom

Posted on: February 16, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Severe Winter Weather FAQs – February 2021

Large red question mark.

  1. Why is Coppell the worst impacted city in the DFW area? 
    1. There are 4.4 million people without power in Texas.
    2. As of 7:30 am on February 16: 1.1 million people in Oncor’s service area do not have power, of those 9,200 are from Coppell.
    3. According to Oncor, their online storm center map is not an accurate accounting of the areas without power. All communities within their service area are experiencing outages, some reporting 100% outage throughout the city.
      1. Please note: This is a developing situation and numbers and percentages will fluctuate from time of posting.  
  2. Why is there only one warming center in Coppell?
    Capacity/utilization, staffing, and resources are the primary drivers that would impact decision-making on any additional warming centers within the City.
    1. Capacity 
      1. We are not yet close to hitting the building capacity for the warming center at The CORE and we have plenty of room to accommodate additional residents if they feel they need to visit.
    2. Staffing 
      1. We are currently pulling staff members from other departments to make sure we have 24/7 coverage for the warming center. We want to ensure that we are not encouraging our staff to get out onto the roadways unless they must.  Additionally, our employees are experiencing the same power and connectivity issues that our residents are facing, even if they live in other communities. Staffing for a second warming center would be a challenge to accommodate with assurance of safety and smooth operation.
    3. Resources
      1. On people - we are balancing everyday services with emergency needs and are limited in our ability to add additional responsibilities to our teams. Many teams are currently on abnormal shifts to ensure that we have 24/7 coverage for all of our services.  
      2. On equipment and other resources - we have finite resources to keep the current service levels operational without adding more. For example, things like generators, fuel, and food/water are currently measured to sustain operation through the extreme weather event. Diverting those finite resources to a secondary warming center would mean that we run out of resources before the weather event has ended.
  3. Why did the City not use the Arts Center and Life Safety Park as warming center?
    1. The Arts Center generator is not connected to H-VAC, meaning that the generator would not regulate the temperature in the building.
    2. Life Safety Park is currently being utilized as the Emergency Operations Center for the City of Coppell.  
    3. The City is also being mindful of generator power and is only using it at critical locations.
  4. How did the Arts Center have power the night of February 15? 
    1. The Arts Center was closed on Monday, February 15, and no staff were on site throughout the day. When the power went out in our area, the backup generators were automatically activated. We have since been able to dispatch staff to the Arts Center and have corrected this issue.
  5. Is the City optimally utilizing power in its facilities during this extreme weather event?
    1. Yes, the City has evaluated the power distribution in its building to ensure that it is only utilizing generator power at necessary locations such as our critical infrastructure or essential buildings. Essential buildings include: The Justice Center, Town Center, the 265 building which houses Fire Operations, Engineering and Community Development, the Service Center, and the warming center at The CORE.
  6. Why has a shelter not been established in Coppell?
    1. The City is in contact with Red Cross and other emergency aid networks and is working to gather a list of shelters in our area as they become available. We will update our website with information as it becomes available. Additionally, the City must receive resources and staffing from the county and state before a shelter can be established.
  7. What COVID-19 precautions are being taken at the warming center? 
    1. All visitors utilizing the warming center are required to wear face masks and we request they practice appropriate social distancing from members of other households. We are asking people to be considerate of others, self-monitor, and practice all the appropriate safety measures (wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing) that have become habits by now.  If anyone in their party is experiencing symptoms or has been exposed to someone experiencing symptoms, we ask that they are mindful of theirs and others safety.  
  8. Does the City have any control over the distribution of electricity? 
    1. No, the City has no control over the power grid. ERCOT handles the generation of electricity while Oncor distributes power to customers. Additionally, Oncor maintains the electrical infrastructure within the city.
  9. Is the City treating the roadways? 
    1. Yes, the City began treatment of the roads on Saturday, February 13, and has continued treatment through this extreme weather event. The City uses a chemical pre-treatment that is more effective and less harsh on the environment than salt. The areas that are targeted for treatment are intersections, bridges, and major roadways.
  10. Does the warming center at The CORE have WiFi?
    1. As of Tuesday, February 16, at 3 pm, the warming center does have WiFi available for visitors to use.
  11. What are the non-emergency Fire and Police department numbers? 
    1. Both the Fire and Police non-emergency number is 469-289-3270. We appreciate your patience on non-emergency calls, and we are responding in the order calls are received.  

We apologize for the difficulties our residents are facing and request patience as we navigate this difficult situation.

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