Speaking Friday, San Antonio Mayor Nirenberg urged state and local officials to increase efforts to restore power and critical state utilities following a major snow storm that has left the region crippled.
“I don’t think there is much you can compare it to, being frozen over in the Southern United States all at once. Especially in the state government that has an independently operated state power grid that has been smashed by the weather,” said Mayor Nirenberg in an interview with news4sanantonio.com. The mayor said wind turbines, gas wells and other infrastructure throughout the state that helps provide power has been frozen by the winter storm.
“No matter what corner of the state you go to, the story is the same…ERCOT has a lot of answers to give. There is going to be a lot of probe and investigation into the state’s handling of our electrical utilities,” Mayor Nirenberg said.
The Mayor said he expects to hear from ERCOT what the plan is to get relief to homeowners who are in need of power. He is also asking for the creation of an emergency fund from City Manager Erik Walsh. The fund would allow for faster repairs for residents experiencing pipe bursts and other damage due to the weather emergency.
“I would like us to explore a fund that we can create locally to offset expenses that residents are going to incur for pipes and other types of damage that was caused by utility disruption,” said Mayor Nirenberg. “We are going to be appealing to the federal government to help us with that.”
Mayor Nirenberg said he’s had conversations with other city mayors, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner about getting assistance from the federal government.
“We don’t want to see our residents frozen out of relief,” he said during Thursday’s city council meeting.