Winter Storm Update

Morning of Friday, Feb. 19, 2021

Morning Update

Right now, we have a singular focus, to provide you with safe drinking water. We can’t do that through our water distribution system as our systems remain frozen. But, we are working to get water to you any way we can. We know you want an answer as to when you will have water, but right now, we just aren't sure.

Currently, we have a team of volunteers, headed by Mayor Wansley, working to assist our community with immediate needs including fresh drinking water, non-potable water for flushing, and other assistance as it becomes available. Please submit this form for assistance.

Our Mayor, City Council and Staff are continuing to work with the Texas Department of Emergency Management, Smith County, our Engineers and all other available resources to meet our singular focus. We are working on:

  • crews are beginning to chlorinate our systems to prepare to prepare for distribution
  • getting an 18-wheeler load of drinking water available to our community
  • working with engineers, other municipalities and extra public works crews to begin pumping water into our water system as soon as possible
  • leveraging any and all City personnel to identify system issues when we are up and running
  • Contacting all vendors and suppliers to prioritize any needed supplies once our systems begin pumping water into pipes
  • Leveraging volunteers to help respond to needs

We know that asking you to wait days for water is unacceptable. We will continue to seek solutions, to provide you information and to meet your needs any way we can.

Leslie Black

City Manager


Almost all homes in the City have power.

From Oncor (2/19/2021)

As of 6:00 a.m., there are approximately 27,000 remaining outages from the cold weather and lack of generation impacts experienced earlier this week. At the peak of the ERCOT directed load shed, more than 1.3 million customers were left without power. We expect that a substantial amount of those remaining customers will be restored by this evening.

Personnel also continued working through the night to restore power to more than 19,000 customers impacted by an ice storm that blanketed Palestine, Lufkin and Nacogdoches late Wednesday and Thursday, with 72,000 outages remaining. We expect the majority of storm restoration to be complete in these areas by early Sunday.

If you are still without power, please report your outage by calling 888-313-4747, texting OUT to 66267, using the MyOncor app or visiting Oncor greatly appreciates the continued patience of our customers and recognizes the hardships faced throughout this statewide power emergency.

The low temperatures, hazardous road conditions and residual impacts of controlled outages on our equipment has complicated the restoration process, though personnel continue to work 24/7. In some areas, damage has been identified within equipment such as transformers as a result of having to quickly power back up massive amounts of energy after the controlled outages concluded. While this damage may temporarily prevent the equipment from powering up every connected customer in the area, personnel will aim to restore as many as possible to provide relief while replacement equipment is being delivered and installed.

Because generation supply remained stable, ERCOT did not issue any controlled or rotating outages on Thursday – the first full day without a load-shed event since early Monday. Should generation conditions change, Oncor will continue to follow the direction of ERCOT.

Emergency Services

In case of emergency, please call 911. Whitehouse Police Department and Fire Department continue to respond to emergency calls, conduct welfare checks, continually monitor the changing weather and are assessing city street conditions.

Intersection of Main Street (FM 346) and ST HWY 110-

  • Extremely slick and icy
  • Marked lanes are not visible

West Main FM 346-

  • 100-400 Block - Extremely icy. Smooth surface, very slick
  • 500-700 Block - Extremely icy, rough and bumpy surface
  • 700- Rhone’s Quarter Road- Extremely icy, smooth surface, very slick
  • Marked lanes are not visible.

East Main FM 346-

  • 100-1400 Block – Extremely icy, rough and bumpy surface
  • Marked lanes are not visible.

ST HWY 110 North- Northbound

  • 100-14000 Block – Extremely icy, rough and bumpy surface
  • Marked lanes are not visible..
  • Only one lane of travel is drivable
  • 14000-Loop 49 Block-Extremely icy, rough and bumpy surface
  • One marked lane is visible; smooth and clear with patches of ice.

ST HWY 110 North- Southbound

  • 1000 Block-Loop 49- Clear smooth road
  • Two visible marked lanes of travel.
  • 600-1000 Block- Only 1 visible lane of travel, patches of ice
  • 100-600 Block- Extremely icy, rough and bumpy
  • No visible lane of travel.

ST HWY 110 South- Southbound

  • 100-300 Block- 2 clearly marked lanes; mostly clear, patches of ice
  • 300-1400 Block- 1 clearly marked lane; mostly clear, patches of ice

ST HWY 110 South- Northbound

  • 600-1400 Block- 1 clearly marked lane; mostly clear, patches of ice
  • 100-600 Block- Only 1 drivable lane; icy, rough and bumpy
  • No visible lane of travel

Hagan Road-

  • Extremely icy, rough and bumpy
  • No visible lane of travel

Bascom Road (848)-

  • Extremely icy, rough and bumpy
  • No visible lane of travel

Acker Tap

  • Extremely icy, smooth
  • No visible lane of travel

Willingham Road-

  • Extremely icy, rough and bumpy
  • No visible lane of travel

Winter Weather Update

  • Road conditions are expected to continue to deteriorate overnight.
  • Hazardous travel will continue Friday and Saturday for some areas even though temperatures are expected to warm above freezing Friday afternoon; any melted snow/ice left on roadways will re-freeze Friday night/Saturday morning.

Trash Service

From Republic Services (2/18/21)

If road conditions permit regular scheduled trash pickup for residential and commercial customers will resume Monday, 2/22/21 on your scheduled day. Trash collection will focus on household trash pickup only at this time. Curbside recycling will resume Wednesday, 3/3/21 and bulk item pickup will resume Thursday, 3/4/21.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we out of water?

The City of Whitehouse has two main water sources. Wells, and a secondary connection to the City of Tyler. Normally, the City uses six wells to supply the City with water. When power outages began, all City wells were without power. We had generators suppling power to the wells, but they are intended to run critical infrastructure and are not equipped to keep pipes and equipment from freezing in subzero temperatures. We managed to keep two wells operational but it was not enough to supply the system and running these two wells without relief would result in long-term outages. Even with our secondary supply with the City of Tyler, our supply and fill lines connecting to their system are frozen as well.

What is it going to take to get water restored?

Warmer temperatures. We hope to see a warming trend over the next several days that will help thaw our frozen pipes and allow our systems to get back online.

Why weren't we better prepared?

We have never dealt with a storm system like this. We always try to account for likely possibilities when designing critical infrastructure. We plan for power outages, tornadoes, flooding, and other disasters. Much like many other cities and utilities, we weren't designed to operate in these temperatures.

Why do other water providers still have water?

Every water system is different. Some water systems are wholly dependent upon other water suppliers, some use a combination of either other suppliers, ground water (wells), or surface water (lakes). Every plant and distribution system includes a myriad of factors that are specific to that location and that system's needs.

Systems have also experienced outages for different reasons. Some have experienced large-scale main breaks, some have had significant increases in demand as people fill bathtubs, drip faucets and experience leaks at their homes. Each of these issues requires a different resolution. Some systems need people to conserve, others need conservation and main break fixes, while others, like us, need warmer weather.

What is the City going to do moving forward?

Over the next few weeks we will do a review of our systems to determine how we can better serve our community. This will include more than just our infrastructure systems. We will look across all of our operations to determine where improvements can be made.

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