Hays County under local disaster declaration 

By Sahar Chmais

HAYS COUNTY – A Local Disaster Declaration in regards to the severe winter weather has been issued by Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra. The declaration will be implemented immediately for seven days, or until the winter weather conditions subside. 

There have been multiple car accidents  and some road closures due to the slick and icy roads. Weather conditions have also caused clinics to close and COVID-19 vaccine delays. 

“In collaboration with emergency management services in the community,” Becerra said, “we determined that weather-related conditions pose a significant threat to Hays County citizens and their property. Out of an abundance of caution, we will take measures to ensure the highest level of response and safety. Thanks to the outpouring of support by our staff and community, we stand vigilant during this time.”

On Friday, Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration in all counties due to the winter weather conditions. 

A disaster declaration helps Hays County qualify resources for reimbursement if federal or state relief dollars are allocated to the event, according to the Hays County Office of the General Counsel. Under Chapter 418 and subchapter E of the Texas Health and Safety Code, the county declaration provides authority for local agencies to coordinate under local emergency management plans. This makes the coordination of local resources an official action of the local government entities. 

Texans are urged to conserve power in their homes and businesses as much as possible. Not conserving power will cause a higher drain on the system and higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies. 

Tips on reducing electricity include: 

  • Set thermostats to 68 degrees
  • Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances
  • Avoid using large appliances such as washers and ovens

Tuesday’s Commissioners County meeting will be cancelled due to the hazardous road conditions in the morning. 

To stay updated on emergency information, visit www.haysinformed.com and the Hays County official Facebook page.

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About Author

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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