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Homeowners and city officials using lessons from 2021 freeze event

WHAT WE LEARNED FROM 2021 FREEZE
Posted at 4:49 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 19:34:38-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Many people still have fears brought on by the freezing event last February. Although not as bad this time, residents still prepare for another incoming winter storm.

“Last year’s deep freeze, boy, it’s a horrible memory for most of us down here,” said Chul Kim McGuire, island resident.

What have people learned from the experience?

“What we did experience a year ago, very much puts us in better preparation for anything to come, but what’s to come this evening and within the next 24 to 48 hours,” Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo said.

McGuire is a local handyman that was able to help residents in need during last year's winter weather event. He said this year, people aren't leaving things to chance.

“Here on the island I know a bunch of homeowners have gotten emergency backup generators, the permanent type installed in their homes," said McGuire. "And others have gotten portable generators.”

Many people experienced broken pipes and or loss of electricity. McGuire has used what he learned to help out others.

“So, got insulation here and aluminum tape over that," he said. "Then I got another device here to fit over the spigot."

He's advising everyone to wrap their outdoor pipes up and keep your indoor faucets running at a slow steady drip to prevent freezing.

Mayor Guajardo said the biggest thing learned is how often communication has to happen between all partners. The mayor and her team keep in touch with all departments including Animal Care Services, Salvation Army, AEP and more.

“The communication between us and AEP is vital and critical during these times because you don’t know what’s going to happen," she said. "So, communication is key. But really you learn all those things in any event and you strengthen them moving forward to the next one.”

City leaders will be in the Emergency Operation Center beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday and stay until they feel the threat has passed.

“We’re under one roof where different departments will be communicating," Billy Delgado said, city emergency management coordinator. "Here, we will make sure people get what they need to do, any resources they might want.”

The city’s call center will now stay open through the night until 6 p.m. Friday. Anyone that needs assistance is encouraged to call 361-826-CITY (2489).

More information about warming centers and shelters can be found on the city's website.

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