Council Member Sallie Alcorn

Council Member Sallie Alcorn Sallie Alcorn is the Houston City Council Member for At-large Position 5.

02/18/2021

Learned from Mayor Sylvester Turner’s 2/18/2021 11AM press conference.

WATER: The city remains under a boil water notice, but pressure has improved. Yesterday the city was putting 350 million gallons of water into the system and got up to 450 million gallons by end of day. As of 10AM, we are up to 525 million gallons. This is good news and brings us to 26 PSI. We are still on the boil water notice because we need to ensure the system stabilizes, plus we have to test the water and send samples to TCEQ for analysis. Mayor Turner says be prepared to stay under boil water advisory until Sunday or Monday. PLEASE conserve water to the extent you can. It will help us get out of this mess sooner. Burst pipes are a big issue across the city. The mayor is establishing a charitable fund (much like the Hurricane
Harvey fund) to help low-income residents address pipe-related damage. The city will be distributing bottled water to locations in each of the council districts beginning at 2PM today. Also, the city is partnering with CrowdSource Rescue to deliver bottled water to seniors and others who are home bound.

ELECTRICITY: Yesterday CenterPoint had 1.3 million customers w/o power. Today that number has dropped to 40,000. Significant generation came online last night and power was able to be restored to a large number of residents. Just like with water, now it’s about stabilizing things and getting power to the remaining homes that don’t have it. Again, please conserve the electricity you have. It really helps! Tonight’s freeze may present a challenge and there could potentially be rolling outages again. CenterPoint will be closely monitoring the situation - all are hopeful everything stabilizes over the next couple days.

As always, please contact me if you need assistance - [email protected] or 832-393-3017. Stay safe!

Houston Health Department
02/18/2021

Houston Health Department

As the power outages continue, please be mindful of food safety. Never taste food to determine its safety! Remember you can’t rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 °F or below, it is safe to refreeze. Refrigerated food should be safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible and throw out any perishable food that has been above 40 °F for 2 hours.

02/18/2021

Passing along this info just received:

Houston Water Frequently Asked Questions:

A boil water notice was issued for the City of Houston’s Main Water System (TX1010013) this morning when water pressure dropped below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s required minimum of 20 PSI during the arctic winter weather event.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions the City of Houston has received:

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A BOIL WATER NOTICE IS ISSUED?
Do not drink the water without boiling it first. Bring all water to a boil for at least two minutes. Let it cool before using it.

ARE KINGWOOD, WILLOWCHASE OR CLEAR LAKE INCLUDED IN THE BOIL WATER NOTICE?
No, the following areas are NOT served by the City's Main Water System:
Kingwood
Willowchase
Clear Lake (served by the Clear Lake City Water Authority)

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I DO NOT HAVE POWER (OR RUNNING WATER)?
Individuals without power (and/or running water) are advised to use bottled water for consumption.

IS THE WATER SAFE FOR BATHING?
The water may be used by healthy people for showering, bathing, shaving, and washing if care is taken not to swallow water and avoid shaving nicks. To minimize the chance of infections, people with open wounds, cuts, blisters or recent surgical wounds and people who are immunocompromised or suffer from chronic illness should use boiled water (then cooled) or water from an alternate source. Children and disabled individuals should be supervised to ensure water is not ingested. Sponge bathing is advisable, and bathing time should be minimized to further reduce the potential for ingestion.

WHEN WILL THE BOIL WATER NOTICE BE LIFTED?
The City expects to have stabilized pressures back into the operational range before the end of the day on Thursday, February 18. It could take another 24-48 hours past that point to receive the all-clear from the State of Texas and lift the Boil Water Notice.

I DON’T HAVE WATER AT MY HOME OR APARTMENT, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you live in an apartment building, please contact your apartment management.

If you live in a home:

1. If there is some water flow - partially fill up your bathtub to use the water to flush toilets. If no water flow, skip to 2
2. Bleed water lines by turning on all sinks and shower / tub facets - both hot and cold (open, but not fully opened)
3. Shut off the water to your home

HOW DO I TURN OFF THE WATER TO MY HOME?
You may need an adjustable wrench or pliers to assist in turning off the valves.
Homes will have either a gate or ball valve:

Ball valve: turn lever 90 degrees (lever is perpendicular to the pipes when valve is closed. It will be parallel when valve is open)
Gate valve (common in older homes): gently turn round handle clockwise (right) until it is completely closed. (you will turn handle counterclockwise to turn water back on)

If you’re unable to turn off your water, please call 311 (713.837.0311) and Houston Water will walk you through steps you can take to turn off the water connection.

To report water main breaks or water flowing into the street, call 311 (713.837.0311).

02/17/2021

This is what I know: The city's water pressure has dropped below 20 psi, requiring a boil water notice. Houston Public Works is working nonstop to stabilize water pressure and pressure is expected to improve throughout today. Hopefully, people should have enough water to flush toilets and for other essential household needs by tonight. Before the end of the day on Thursday, February 18, HPW expects to have stabilized pressures back into the operational range. Households and businesses with water are urged to conserve water.

Electricity: As of 10:30 AM, 1.3 million are without power in the CenterPoint service area, with 500,000 of those affected within the city of Houston. If your power is on, conserve as much as possible. Outages may be tracked via CenterPoint's map. CenterPoint is ready to restore power once it is made available by third-party power generators and received through ERCOT.

Other services: City of Houston Solid Waste Management is performing collection today as weather allows, picking up garbage that normally would have been collected Monday. www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/

The Houston Fire Department has responded to 3,300 calls within the last 24 hours, 75% of which were EMS-related. Firefighters have also responded to 56 structure fires and over 100 carbon monoxide-related calls over the past two days.

The Houston Police Department is currently working extended shifts. As temperatures drop tonight, Chief Acevedo is warning residents to stay off the road. Many traffic lights are out, so it's important to treat all intersections without clear signaling as 4-way stops. If you are worried about your elderly and disabled neighbors, call 311 for a wellness check.

FEMA's mass COVID-19 vaccination center at NRG is still set to open on February 22. Scheduled vaccinations and testing at city facilities are likely to resume on Friday, February 19. Anyone scheduled for a vaccine appointment during the time sites were closed will be rescheduled by the Houston Health Department.

02/17/2021

UPDATE 10:30 AM: The city's water pressure has dropped below 20 psi, requiring a boil water notice. I understand many of you are without power and the ability to boil water. Please use bottled water if it is available to you. As a water provider, the city is legally mandated to issue this notice. If you are able to heat water, it must be kept at a boil for at least two minutes before it is safe to consume.

Latest from Houston Public Works:

LOW PRESSURE
Houston’s water & wastewater systems are operating at emergency pressure levels and experiencing system-wide low water pressure. If you have water, please use it only for health & safety reasons.

NO WATER
If there is no water, this could indicate that the home’s private water line is frozen. After temperatures are above freezing, the best way to thaw frozen water pipes is to:
Open cabinet doors to circulate warm air
Use hair dryers, heat lamps or portable space heaters
DO NOT USE open flames or propane torches (fire hazard)

Not everyone who has low/no water has a private frozen pipe.

Households and businesses with water are urged to conserve water.

Will continue to provide further updates when available.

02/17/2021

I know many of you are concerned about low water pressure and bursting pipes. I have many friends and neighbors whose pipes have burst already. It’s all very scary - so I’ve been asking a lot of questions.

This is what I’ve learned: The city’s drinking water operating plants are currently maintaining pressure above 20psi. The 20psi number is important because if the city dips below that, it could impact city service. If every household drips water (to potentially help prevent pipes from bursting), it may cause city pressure to below 20psi. So, for the collective good, the city asks you not to drip pipes. BUT, I totally understand you’re worried about your pipes bursting (I’m worried about mine too)! Burst pipes can lead to lots of damage and costly repairs, so I get it. The city is working hard to maintain pressure at drinking water operations to safely deliver water to all residents, and you have genuine concerns about your pipes and potential damage. It’s kind of a Catch 22.

What we’ve decided to do at our house is to shut off the water - drain pipes, fill up tubs, set aside some drinking water - and then turn water back on later in the week when temps are higher. I’m not telling you this is what you should or must do; I’m just saying shutting off the water is an option. Public works will be issuing some graphics and info soon related to shutting off water. I’ll share when I receive. Again, this is by no means a directive. Just an option. I’m learning about all of this right along with you. Hope this information is helpful. Stay safe!

Tuesday 2/16 - 11AM - THIS IS WHAT I KNOW: U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) rep said Houston will get up to around 30...
02/16/2021

Tuesday 2/16 - 11AM - THIS IS WHAT I KNOW:

U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) rep said Houston will get up to around 30 degrees this afternoon, icy patches remain, and we won’t get above freezing today. Another storm expected tonight/tomorrow AM which will bring freezing rain (no ice pellets or snow, just rain which when it hits the ground it freezes - think slick and dangerous). Models showing this system to be colder and coming in earlier than previously expected. Expect treacherous, icy conditions on the road Weds AM. Temps should rise to above freezing Weds at around 9 or 10AM. By Weds midday, freezing rain expected to turn to regular rain and rain will move out Weds afternoon. Could have light wintry mix/sleet Weds night. Today’s temps: 30 high 27 low/ Weds 40 high 30 low/ Thurs 38 high 27 low/ Fri 42 high 31 low/ Sat and Sun warming w/highs in 50s and 60s.

Ok, now moving on to POWER. CenterPoint Energy currently has 1.37 million customers w/o power. They have been told by ERCOT two large generators will be brought online today which hopefully will improve things. Good news is our grid/electric lines have not been heavily damaged by this storm, so restoring power should go smoothly as ERCOT allows. Last night CenterPoint started restoring power to homes that had been without power the longest. They also had to cut power to others who previously had it. Further, CenterPoint is moving from all-automatic system of cutting off and restoring power to some manual operations. For example, CenterPoint able to target business areas to switch off in order to get more power to residences. CenterPoint officials stated they are directed to reduce load by ERCOT and couldn’t make any guarantees about when power will be fully restored. I asked about people who didn’t have power previously and now do — can they expect to keep power? Answer: they couldn’t say definitively. There’s still a chance you could lose power again. Hopefully not, but still a chance. All up to amount of power ERCOT asks CenterPoint to shed. What was originally planned to be rolling blackouts for shorter amounts of time shifted Sunday night to longer, widespread outages as power generation facilities went offline amidst increased demand. ERCOT CEO told mayor today some power restoration should be restored, but couldn’t say how much. (UPDATE 12:40 PM: mayor announced approximately 400,000 homes would have their power restored today.) Lots of frustration and questions about why we lost so much power generation. ERCOT wasn’t on the call, but will hopefully be on the next one.

HFD running 175% above normal calls. Over 2200 calls in last day. Stretched thin and working hard - thanks Houston Fire Department! Drinking water operations in good shape. Twelve wastewater plants w/o power, but running on partial power w/ generators - 24 other wastewater facilities working fine. Some areas experiencing low pressure, but water/wastewater systems are holding.

No vaccinations at city sites today. (UPDATE 12:40 PM: no testing or vaccinations today or tomorrow at city sites) Houston METRO not operating today, but assisting w/ transports. Hobby and Bush airports expected to open at 4 PM today.

People who need power for medical reasons, please call 311. The city will work to either get equipment to you or transport you to safety. Larger resident groups needing critical care assistance (nursing homes, assisted living facilities), please call Emergency Operations Center at 713-859-4257.

I know this has been very rough. Please let me know how my staff and I may assist you. Please email [email protected] or call (832) 393-3017. Take care, check on your neighbors, stay off the roads, and be safe!

02/15/2021

UPDATE 1:30PM - There are 1.2 million people in the Houston area without power. Power generating facilities offline, wind turbines frozen — power supply reduced so had to move from rolling blackouts to more widespread power outages. System controlled by ERCOT. No one can say when exactly power will be back up. Possibly later tonight or tomorrow. If you do have power, please turn thermostat to 68 degrees or lower. If you are in need of power for medical reasons, please call 311.
Please use water only for essential needs. Need to protect water pressure. Be safe all!

This is what I know: there are power outages for 1/4 of CenterPoint customers - 670,000 homes (including mine brrrrr). The mayor described this as a statewide distribution issue (more so than a rolling outage situation). Demand for power exceeding supply with some power generation plants offline. Power may be off for most of the day today. A difficult situation as roads are dangerous and all advised to stay home. Bitter cold today, tonight, and tomorrow - getting to above-freezing temps on Wednesday. The west side experiencing low water pressure as a repumping station down. The next 24-36 hours will be a challenge for our city’s infrastructure. Good news is no more precipitation expected today or tomorrow - the system has moved east. More info at City of Houston Office of Emergency Management. Stay safe all. Check on your neighbors and seniors who may need help.

Our latest newsletter is out‼️ We have updates on vaccine distribution plans & info on the joint city/county rental reli...
02/10/2021
Vaccine Distribution Update, $159M in Rental Relief approved

Our latest newsletter is out‼️ We have updates on vaccine distribution plans & info on the joint city/county rental relief program, which renters will be able to apply for beginning February 25: https://mailchi.mp/houstontx/greetings-from-city-hall-10016828

Houston is continuing to administer its limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines to those who fall within the 1A or 1B categories according to the guidelines set by the State of Texas. The Houston Health Department is not currently opening up new appointments; rather, vaccines are being distributed to .....

02/06/2021

After last year's Watson explosion, Council Member Abbie Kamin and I co-chaired a joint committee meeting where Chief Peña presented on the Houston Fire Department's plan for a new HazMat unit. Today, HazMat Unit 3 joined the fleet, the first addition to the city's hazardous materials response plan since 1979.

It was a chilly morning in the District of Destination, but I was thrilled to join Mayor Sylvester Turner & my colleague...
01/29/2021

It was a chilly morning in the District of Destination, but I was thrilled to join Mayor Sylvester Turner & my colleagues CM David W. Robinson, FAIA & Councilmember Carolyn Evans-Shabazz at the New Hope Housing Reed Rd location, where we kicked off the Urban Prairie Resilience program. This green stormwater infrastructure project will create wildlife habitats and outdoor educational and recreational space while improving stormwater retention, water filtration, and groundwater replenishment.

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900 Bagby St
Houston, TX
77004

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BARC’s director blatantly says he doesn’t understand animal behavior and now this dog lost its leg because of his incompetence. Damianoff needs to go if we ever want Houston to be better for the animals! https://www.houstonpress.com/news/vicious-dog-chews-off-his-paw-at-barc-11513988?fbclid=IwAR1aLKUKqtyJyRvMSeh7O2FBjjUUWJX2SJUZGV8HL0UP1kg-ItG06lCJ_70
I want to personally thank Sallie Alcorn and her assistant Julia for reaching out to me today regarding my concerns! I reached out to everyone from our local representatives to the President yesterday and not only did they call to check on me, they offered advice on what else I could do from here and a direct phoneline to call back for continued guidance. They are the only office of a representative to respond and it really shows how much they care about the people of Houston. Thank you!