BUDA, TEXAS -- As winter nears and temperatures dip, the City of Buda is taking steps to brace the possible return of severe weather this winter. Last February, Winter Storm Uri caused power outages that crippled the state’s infrastructure with 6.5” of snow in the Austin area. To be better prepared for the possible return of low temperatures, City and elected officials have taken measures to secure water infrastructure and be better equipped to navigate through severe winter weather.
“The City’s Public Works Department is working to prepare for possible low temperatures this winter.” Said Mike Beggs Buda Public Works Director and Emergency Management Coordinator. “Though the City cannot prevent power outages, we have taken steps to secure essential facilities should we lose power.”
Using American Rescue Plan Act funding, the City of Buda purchased two trailer-mounted generators for the City’s water and wastewater treatment facilities. Buda has five water wells and five elevated storage tanks. The purchase of these generators ensures the City has power for these facilities and does not lose communication with them in case of a power outage. The City also rented an additional trailer-mounted generator and will have it available until the end of February 2022.
The new generators will supply backup power to the Night Hawk Lift station, Green Meadows Lift station, and Overlook Park Lift station. Other significant lift stations are already equipped with generators. The City added an additional generator to well 5–an aquifer storage and recovery well. The City also recently serviced all city-owned generators and added a stabilizer to the diesel fuel so it does not freeze in severely cold weather. The servicing also required checking belts and fluid levels and ensuring that pipes at utility facilities were appropriately insulated.
In addition, the City is installing an underground electrical conduit from the existing generator at Inspired Minds Arts Center (old City Hall building) next to the groundwater storage tank to well 1 pump house. This will allow the City to monitor the equipment within the pump house should the power go out.
Other preparation measures include the purchase of eight sets of snow chains for the Buda Police Department and the Buda Public Works Department. In addition, the City has stockpiled sand to have available for roads, and the sand spreaders are checked regularly before winter.
“We’re hoping this winter is not as severe as the last, but if it is, we’re confident we’ve done everything within our ability to be prepared,” Beggs said.
The City of Buda is home to about 18,000 residents and has earned designations as a “Texas Main Street City,” “Tree City USA,” “Bee City Affiliate” and “Platinum-Level Scenic City.” Buda is situated along the Interstate 35 corridor, has 14 parks and a historic downtown district where residents and visitors alike can shop, dine, relax, and breathe easy here.
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