Now that we’ve thawed out a bit and temperatures have been warmer and closer to average, maybe we can return to some normalcy. However, around this time last week countless individuals and families had taken in the exquisite views of measurable snow in San Antonio, a rare scene for locals since 1985 and a very first for others. There were plenty of snowball fights, constructed snowmen and snowwomen that stood out in front of yards along with a great deal of makeshift snow-surfing festivities that took place; all were a nice little mental and physical break from the harsh realities of our “new norms” in the age of Covid-19. Unfortunately, little did San Antonians and Texans know that this excitement was just a little “calm before the storm,” and like the remnants of Covid-19, we’ll be paying the price for the pleasure.
Things quickly took a turn for the worse by the evening of February 14, 2021. With record breaking temperatures in the forecast and potential snowfall, many rushed out to local grocery stores in an effort to shop for essential food and water in the event roads and stores would be closed. Shoppers arrived at stores having to wait in long lines only to discover semi-bare shelves and slim pickings of items to purchase because many heeded protocols and prepared home-cooked meals and celebrated their first socially distanced Valentine’s Day at home with loved ones. Adding insult to injury, thousands of San Antonians began experiencing the bitterness of frigid nights and temperatures that led to incredible snowfall amounts. Then what started as rolling electricity blackouts (typical in summer months in Texas) to protect and conserve the entire Texas power grid abruptly became a little more permanent for millions of residents across the city and the state. And as if sitting in the dark for hours and then days was not enough, it immediately became clear that loss of electricity would cause a hurdling domino effect of catastrophic events. CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipal electric utility company shutting off of electricity started to trouble the city’s water supply because pumps that assist with water pressure and flow were disabled causing businesses and residents to experience low water pressure, and in far too many cases residents experienced having no water at all.
The historic 2021 winter storm nicknamed “SnowVid” really made its presence known. Major roads and highways closed, school districts canceled classes for the week, Covid-19 vaccinations were brought to a halt, basic essentials like food and water were scarce, and people were basically trapped in their homes ingesting a great amount of uncertainty. And now that power and water have been restored, pocketbooks and bank accounts will take another hit as business owners and citizens repair busted pipes, service vehicles, replenish food pantries, and most likely bear the burden of higher utility bills, etc. in an already bleak future.
According to reports ERCOT (The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc.) which operates Texas’s electrical grid and supplies power to more than 25 million Texas customers and represents 90% of the state’s electric load) says Texas was 4 minutes and 37 seconds from total blackout that could have lasted months. Undoubtedly, this storm will never be forgotten; the good, the bad and the ugly. Kudos to all the essential workers who endured the storm to in an effort to keep us all safe, functional and informed.
Several resources are currently available to assist with recovery
The City of San Antonio, Bexar County and San Antonio Food Bank opened a total of 13 bottled water distribution sites that will remain open for two weeks. Residents will be able to pick up one case of bottled water per day per household. The sites will remain open through March 6.
Bottled Water Distribution Sites
- Wheatley Heights Sports Complex – 200 Noblewood Dr.
- Brooks – Challenger Dr. @ Research Place
- Texas A&M University – San Antonio – Main Campus – One University Way
- Port San Antonio – 907 Billy Mitchell Blvd
- SeaWorld San Antonio/Aquatica – 10500 Sea World Drive
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas – 17000 IH 10 West
- Food Bank – 5200 Enrique M. Barrera Pkwy
- Our Lady of the Lake University — 411 SW 24th St
- Community Bible Church – 2477 N Loop 1604 E
- Heroes Stadium – 4799 Thousand Oaks Dr.
- Rolling Oaks Mall — 6909 N Loop 1604 E
- Bullis County Park – 27583 Old Blanco Rd
- Julius Matthey Middle School – 20350 Red Forest Ln
The locations were selected to be within the closest proximity to areas that are still facing water outages.
The City will also provide bottled water delivery to homebound seniors, San Antonio Housing Authority properties without water, nursing homes, boarding homes, some dialysis facilities and residents with medical needs. These locations have been identified and coordinated with partner agencies. Delivery availability is limited but can be requested by calling 311.
The sites will abide by COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.
For more information or to receive the latest weather information from the city of San Antonio and Bexar County.
- Download the Ready South Texas app, available in the iTunes and Google Play stores
- Text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates
- Follow @COSAGOV on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Bookmark www.sanantonio.gov
- Follow other partner agencies on social media:
- SAPD: https://twitter.com/SATXPolice
- SAFD: https://twitter.com/SATXFire
- Bexar County: https://www.facebook.com/BexarCountyTX
- TxDOT San Antonio: https://twitter.com/TxDOTSanAntonio
- CPS Energy: https://twitter.com/cpsenergy
- SAWS: https://twitter.com/MySAWS
- VIA Metropolitan Transit: https://twitter.com/VIA_Transit
NAACP Legal Defense Fund Fight Voting Barriers in Texas
A group of organizations of color recently came together on Sept. 11 in San Antonio to represent a lawsuit they filed arguing Senate Bill 1 violates the First, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by intentionally targeting and burdening methods and means of voting used by voters of color.
Representatives gathered at the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (in San Antonio) to represent their case. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), Reed Smith LLP, and The Arc filed the lawsuit for the Houston Area Urban League, Houston Justice, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and The Arc of Texas.
The defendants in the case are Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Deputy Secretary of State of Texas Jose Esparza, Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton, Elections Administrator of Bexar County Jacque Callanen, and Elections Administrator of Harris County Isabel Longoria.
S.B. 1 includes a series of suppressive voting-related provisions that will make it much harder for Texas residents to vote and disenfranchise some altogether, particularly Black and Latino voters and voters with disabilities.
The plaintiffs claim the law violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act by imposing barriers against voters with disabilities and denying people with disabilities equal opportunities to participate in the state’s voting programs.
The lawsuit challenges multiple provisions in SB 1, including:
- Limitations on early voting hours and constraints on the distribution of mail-in ballot applications.
- The elimination of drive-thru voting centers and the prohibition of mail-in ballot drop-boxes.
“Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has been fighting for the rights of all U.S. citizens to vote for 108 years,” said Delta Sigma Theta President and CEO Beverly E. Smith. “S.B. 1 directly threatens the right to vote of over 20,000 members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and their family and friends in Texas, and we are committed to fight against S.B. 1 on their behalf.”
Texas is among more than 40 other states that have enacted legislative efforts to substantially restrict voting access. LDF and The Arc are also involved in litigation challenging Georgia’s restrictive voting laws.
Travel, Sports, and Growth with Council Person Jalen Mckee
As the Spurs secure their #1 pick and the IPW Travel Conference puts a spotlight on our city, District 2 stands at the precipice of a booming billion-dollar tourism industry. This convergence of sports and tourism forms the backdrop of our exclusive live podcast event brought to you by East-Side-based Culture Travels magazine.
Join us as we delve into the intertwined worlds of travel and sports tourism with our distinguished guests: Jalen Mckee Rodriguez, Council Person of District 2, Deborah Omowale Jarmon, CEO/Director of the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum, Dr. Kara Allen, Chief Impact Officer for the San Antonio Spurs, and Jenny Carnes, CEO of San Antonio Sports.
Jalen, known for his engaging persona and passion for community growth, will take us on a journey through his personal travels, providing insight on how exploring new places, cultures, and experiences has fueled their tireless advocacy for the development of District 2.
Additionally, In the wake of the Spurs’ key draft pick and the potential surge of tourism following the IPW conference, Jalen offers his perspective on how these two factors intertwine with the economic prosperity of District 2. In an era where sports, culture, and economics are more interlinked than ever, understanding the potential impact on District 2’s economy becomes both enlightening and imperative.
We also welcome three extraordinary special guests: Deborah Omowale Jarmon, CEO/Director of the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum, Jenny Carnes, CEO of San Antonio Sports, and Dr. Kara Allen, Chief Impact Officer for the San Antonio Spurs. Their expertise and insights will further illuminate the intersection of sports, tourism, and economic growth in our city.
This live podcast event is perfect for those passionate about travel and tourism, who want to understand the economic relationship between the San Antonio Spurs and District 2’s economy or are eager to gain insights into the potential of district-focused development. Join us for a thought-provoking discussion, diverse perspectives, and a deeper understanding of the dynamics of travel and sports tourism.
Limited seats! Register today! We look forward to seeing you there!
Places to Stay Cool
When temperatures rise to potentially dangerous levels, it is important to stay inside an air-conditioned space whenever possible. There are currently over 30 San Antonio locations for the public to use to stay cool. These include:
- City Libraries
- Senior Centers
- Community Centers
NOTE: Via’s Personal Trip Planner can help you find a bus route to a location near you.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES TO STAY COOL
Additional opportunities to stay cool include the City’s following free facilities:
- Splash Pads
- Swimming Pools
For locations, visitor information, and hours of operation, please visit the Parks & Recreation Department.
HEAT SAFETY TIPS
Adults over 65, children under 4, and people with existing medical conditions such as heart disease and those without access to air conditioning are at highest risk on days with high temperatures.
Drinking plenty of water and protecting oneself from the sun are critical precautions. Additionally, people should call and check on their neighbors who may be at high risk and ensure access to heat relief and hydration.
Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are possible health effects. Warning signs of heat stroke include: red, hot, and moist or dry skin, no sweating, a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse, nausea, confusion or acting strangely. If a child exhibits any of these signs, cool the child rapidly with cool water (not an ice bath) and call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles. If you see a child or pet locked in a hot car or in the back of a truck, take action immediately. Jot down the car’s description (including a license plate number). Call the Police Department immediately. If regarding a pet, call Animal Care Services at 311. Per city ordinance, both Police and Animal Care Officers have the right to break a car’s window if a child or animal is endangered inside a vehicle.
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