Austin looking at all legal options to prevent future crisis
AUSTIN, Texas - The line to pick up food and water at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex stretched well into the street Wednesday afternoon.
"For all intents and purposes, it's a beautiful day but we are right smack dab in the middle of disaster relief efforts," said Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison.
The mayor was one of the several volunteers helping distribute the goods. "We've given out over 3 million bottles of water to people, which is an incredible number, unless you’re one of the people who haven't gotten one of those bottles of water, or you don't have water," said Mayor Steve Adler.
DOWNLOAD THE FOX 7 AUSTIN NEWS APP
SIGN UP FOR FOX 7 AUSTIN EMAIL ALERTS
Austin Water said the majority of customers have service by now, but it's not the case for all.
"We still have people in this city who don't have water, don't have power, not because of the system grid but because the water line to the apartment complex has been broken. City Code is out talking to landlords to make sure they move quickly to get services started again," said Adler.
Thursday, the Austin City Council will hold a special-called meeting to address immediate needs. "Tomorrow, council is going to start taking real concrete action to make sure we can get plumbers doing their work quickly at a lower cost...making sure people's utility bills don't go up," said Adler.
RELATED: City of Austin website launched to help navigate winter storm repairs
In the long run, what are elected officials doing to be sure it doesn’t happen again? Officials in Harris County are looking into the option of leaving ERCOT. Will Austin do that?
"There is going to be a lot of time to think about that. I’m so focused right on taking care of people who are in crisis. There is going to be an opportunity to discuss any and every litigation effort we can think of to try and help people deal with and recover from this crisis," said Adler.
RELATED: Some Austin residents still without water, plumbing repairs are ongoing
In the meantime, the city is focusing on getting the most basic needs met, before any analysis.
"Let's get stabilized and then let's start talking recovery. Then we can do the analysis of where did we fail and how did we fail, who do we need to fortify?" said Harper-Madison.