Infrastructure: We Learned A Brutal, Cold Lesson

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The view from our home was beautiful, but we were freezing…

Infrastructure is Job One.

Most of us own homes, and we know just what happens when we delay maintenance. Systems break, they fail. Cracks get bigger, repairs get more costly.That is just what happened last week when the state’s energy grid failed millions of Texans and froze many of us in District 11.

You’ve seen the photos of people in Vickery lining up to get potable water from a fire hydrant! Horrendous! Perhaps you, too, had hours without power & heat and no running water for days after record low temperatures dipped lower than they have in more than seven decades. First people lost power in the bitter cold, then their homes burst pipes and spewed water. On Monday, February 16, the mercury hit negative two degrees — that’s -2! — at DFW Airport.

Some say oh, that was an anomaly, a freaky Texas weather pattern.

But I say, we should have been prepared. We should always be prepared.

I write for Forbes, and here is a link to the piece I penned last weekend as my toes were still in thaw mode. As I have researched the causes of the grid failure, it seems there are fingers to point at multiple system and legislative failures. We need to be diversified in our energy systems and sources, absolutely, but we also need to plan for more extreme weather conditions: in District 11 we have survived a Micro-Burst, an EF-3 tornado, and now the deepest freeze Texas has seen since the late 1940s.

I believe all Texas power plants and wind turbines SHOULD BE WINTERIZED. With infrastructure, you get what you pay for sooner or later, and most of us are paying with inconvenience, leaking pipes (hand up), blown out hot water heaters (hand up), and busted swimming pool pipes (hand up).

Most tragically, we have even paid with lost lives, which NEVER should have happened.

Here’s what I will do as your Councilwoman in D11: concentrate on infrastructure, be it roads and alleys, sewers (not sexy, but very necessary), traffic lights, trash & litter, and if we have any influence, the power grid. I believe we need to be better prepared and organized as a city for future catastrophes. There is no question that the climate is tilting to more extremes: there will be more pandemics. And I will work to improve communication in our district. A huge frustration for us was not hearing from Oncor when they had promised blackouts of 15 minutes to 2 hours, when it reality ours lasted 16. I have been in communications all my life, and next will give you some ideas.



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