Updated: Tree limb cleanup for city residents + FAQ

Crews contracted by the City of Georgetown have begun picking up tree limbs and brush left from the winter storm Feb. 11-20. The special pickup is for residents who live in City of Georgetown city limits.

Limbs and brush should be piled at the curb by Thursday, March 4. Multiple crews are collecting tree limbs across the city. If you need help with cutting limbs or moving them to the curb, see the information on volunteer help below. If you have limbs from the winter storm that need to be picked up, but cannot have them at the curb by March 4, please contact Customer Care at customercare@georgetown.org or call 512-930-3640.

Track the citywide removal of tree limbs on the map below that will be updated to show daily progress.

There is no special fee assessed to city residents for this limb collection.

Tree limbs should be cut so a person can lift them into a truck and placed in piles along the curb or pavement edge. Limbs do not need to be bundled. Tree limb stacks with other material mixed in, such as construction debris or sheetrock, will not be picked up.

Contractors will not go onto private property beyond the street edge to cut up trees or limbs or to move material to the curb. Those who need help cutting up or removing tree limbs should hire a private company.

Volunteer help: Residents in Bastrop, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties can call the Crisis Clean Up toll free number at 1-800-329-8052 through March 2 requesting assistance to clean up their home and/or debris. The volunteer effort is being organized by the Austin Disaster Relief Network and Central Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.

Questions and requests for limb pick up should be directed to customercare@georgetown.org.

Tree limb cleanup FAQ

The City of Georgetown has contracted with landscaping firms to pick up tree limbs that resulted from the winter storm Feb. 11-20. This FAQ address key questions about the special pickup.

When will the tree limb pickup begin and end?

Tree limb pickup started on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Limbs and brush should be piled at the curb by Thursday, March 4. Pickup crews will work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. The City is assessing the amount of tree limb debris to be collected to determine the length of this special collection.

What should Georgetown residents do to have tree limbs included in the special pickups?

Residents of Georgetown who live in city limits should move and stack tree limbs to the curb or street edge. City contractors will remove the limbs from that location.

What if I live in the extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ, but have solid waste and recycling service from the City of Georgetown?

Residents in the ETJ with solid waste service from the City of Georgetown should contact a contractor to remove large limbs.

Solid waste customers in the ETJ can also dispose of up to 3 cubic yards of tree limbs and brush at the Transfer Station, 250 W.L. Walden Drive, at no cost through Feb. 27. The limit applies per load, not per customer. The Transfer Station is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

Do I need to call in or register online to be placed on the cleanup list?

No. The cleanup effort will be conducted street by street across the city. City staff will be accompanying the contractors to monitor the work and to scout a street ahead. If a street does not have any tree limb piles, then that street will be skipped.

How much will I be charged for the special tree limb and debris collection?

There is no special fee assessed to residents for this limb and debris collection. The cleanup is a City service to residents funded by general fund revenues.

Do trees or limbs need to be cut or stacked in a certain way?

No, they should be placed along the curb or pavement edge. Limbs do not need to be bundled. If the tree limbs  need to be reduced in size for removal, the contractors will take care of that.

What if I am a senior, disabled, do not have the necessary equipment, or the limbs are too large/heavy for me to place at the curb?

Contractors will not go onto private property beyond the street edge to cut up trees or limbs or move material to the curb. Those who need help cutting up or removing tree limbs should hire a private company.

Volunteer help: Residents in Bastrop, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties can call the Crisis Clean Up toll free number at 1-800-329-8052 through March 2 requesting assistance to clean up their home and/or debris. The volunteer effort is being organized by the Austin Disaster Relief Network and Central Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.

How long should I anticipate the tree limbs to remain at the curb before they get picked up?

The City is assessing the amount of tree limb debris to be collected to determine the length of this special collection. Limbs and brush should be piled at the curb by Thursday, March 4. If you have limbs from the winter storm that need to be picked up, but cannot have them at the curb by March 4, please contact Customer Care at customercare@georgetown.org or call 512-930-3640.

Will the City contractors be required to have any identification?

Information will be provided to the contractor that states they are working for the City and there will be a City escort with each contractor.

Will the City contractor be contacting me personally or asking for any type of payment?

No. The City’s contractors for limb and debris removal will not be knocking on doors or trying to contact residents. If needed, City of Georgetown employees will reach out to contact you about the collection at your residence. No contractor working for the City of Georgetown will be asking for information or payment from you.

Be aware that after a severe weather event, debris removal and repair contractors may be coming to our area and contacting residents. If you do choose to hire a firm to remove limbs or debris, do not make any payments before the work is completed.

What if I have plumbing or home repair needs?

If plumbing or home repair is needed, ask your contractor if they have a permit for the work from the City of Georgetown Building and Inspection Department. Not all repair work will require a building permit, but it is better to ask or check with the City of Georgetown. If you have questions about building permits or if a building permit is needed, please contact our Building and Inspections Department at 512-930-2550 or at permits@georgetown.org. The City is waiving some permit fees on a case-by-case basis. The Building and Inspections Department currently is very busy, so please leave a message, if needed, and staff will be in contact with you. If you are home during the limb or debris cleanup, please do not hesitate to reach out to the City of Georgetown employees who will be escorting the debris cleanup contractors.

What if I have other questions?

If you have additional questions that were not addressed in the FAQ, please contact City of Georgetown Customer Care at customercare@georgetown.org or call 512-930-3640.

Disaster Relief Resources for Winter Storm Uri

Click any of the links below to be taken to that section of the relief guide. For a downloadable version of this document, click here.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit the websites or social media of these organizations.

I. Local Resources

a. Community Resources

      1. General Assistance
      2. Food Assistance
      3. Mental Health Resources
      4. Transportation
      5. Unemployment Benefits
      6. Utilities
      7. Renter/Homeowner’s Resources
      8. Local Aid Organizations

b. Georgetown Services

II. State/Federal Resources

      1. Federal Disaster Relief
      2. Texas Health and Human Services Resources
      3. Public Utility Commission

III. Damage Assessment

  

Community Resources Assistance

General assistance

2-1-1 Texas

No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1, or (877) 541-7905, and find information about resources in your local community. 2-1-1 Texas is a free, anonymous social service hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Wilco-Forward Phase III Service Agreements

Assistance with rent or utilities. For more information on the Wilco-Forward Phase III Service Agreements, click here.

https://www.wilco.org/forward

Opportunities for Williamson & Burnet Counties

The Community Services program through Opportunities for Williamson & Burnet Counties offers assistance with energy costs for low-income residents, COVID-19 emergency assistance, and self-sufficiency/case management.

For more information or to fill out the online application, click here.

The Caring Place

Please call 512-943-0709 and leave a message regarding your need and someone will contact you within 48 business hours with the next steps.  Please do not arrive at The Caring Place office unless instructed by staff.

Find bill assistance instructions at:  https://www.caringplacetx.org/covid19

Food Programs at: https://www.caringplacetx.org/getfood

Item Donation hours at: https://www.caringplacetx.org/donatemystuff

Please note COVID-19 has changed many programs and hours and you will want to check our website or Facebook page before arriving.

Agencies providing food assistance

Local food pantries and school districts are providing emergency food access in our community. If you are in need of food assistance, please call 211.

SNAP Replacement Benefit – SNAP beneficiaries in Williamson county will automatically receive a percentage of their regular benefit amount on their Lone Star card by March 4 to replace lost or destroyed food due to the winter storm.

If you are outside Williamson County and would like to request SNAP benefits to replace lost or destroyed food, Dial 2-1-1, request option 2. If 2-1-1 is not available, you can:

  • Download and complete Form H1855 (Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits),
    • Once completed, the form can be faxed to 1-877-447-2839, or
    • Mailed to Texas Health and Human Services Commission, PO Box 149027, Austin, TX 78714-9027.

You have until March 31 to request a benefit replacement.

Texans who get SNAP food benefits can buy hot food such as rotisserie chicken and prepared foods from a store’s deli at retailers who accept SNAP through March 31.

Meals on Wheels – For Meals on Wheels, you may call (512) 763-1400 x 2004 or email cberry@owbc-tx.org. For more information, visit owbc-tx.org

Helping Hands of Georgetown – Offering brown bag lunches at the picnic table in the Georgetown Public Library parking lot at Eighth and MLK Jr. streets around 3:15 p.m. Monday-Thursday and at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Shelf-stable groceries will also be available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For more information, visit their website: helpinghandsgtx.org

Central Texas Food Bank – Regional food delivery program delivers fresh and packaged foods to centrally-located drop sites in outlying areas. This is a free service. To find the nearest food pick-up location, click here.

Mental health and healthcare services

Bluebonnet Trails Community Services (local mental health authority)

Appointments or Questions: 1-844-309-6385

24/7 Crisis Hotline: 1-800-841-1255

For more information, visit their website: bbtrails.org

Hill Country Intergroup Austin AA is offering online meetings. Find one here: austinaa.org

Hope Alliance sponsors a domestic abuse hotline and limited shelter.  (800) 460-7233 hopealliancetx.org

Lone Star Circle of Care offers sliding scale health, dental, and behavioral care. (877) 800-5722 lonestarcares.org

Samaritan Center provides counseling, integrative services, and peer support. For more information, call (512) 451-7337, or visit their website, samaritan-center.org Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Texas Health and Human Services offers a statewide, toll-free, 24/7 mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress, or emotional challenges because of COVID-19. 833-986-1919.

The Christi Center – grief and loss support https://christicenter.org/

Transportation services

GoGeoTransit Service – Regular GoGeo bus services will resume June 8. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. There will be no Saturday service. https://gogeo.georgetown.org/

CARTS will continue to provide needed medical trips for dialysis and other critical medical needs for pre-scheduled trips. Rides for qualified paratransit riders can be requested online or through the CARTS Reservation Center by calling (512) 478-7433. https://www.ridecarts.com/schedule

Faith in Action – free rides for adults over 65 https://www.faithinactiongt.org/

Unemployment benefits

Texas Workforce Commission – to apply for unemployment benefits or request a Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) payment, visit their website at twc.texas.gov

Utilities

City of Georgetown Electric and Water – Customers experiencing a water, wastewater, or electric emergency outage can call (512) 930-3640 or (888) 474-4904 as usual.

Customers wanting to connect or disconnect their utility service can complete their request online at https://gus.georgetown

PEC & Oncor customers:

Please continue to report outages through PEC & Oncor outage-reporting systems:

Oncor: 888-313-4747 / https://stormcenter.oncor.com

PEC: 888-883-3379 / https://outages.pec.coop/dmsoutagemap

Renter/homeowner’s resources

Austin Tenants Council – tenants’ rights and advocacy, Wilco included https://www.housing-rights.org/disaster-relief-for-renters

Austin Disaster Relief Network offers emergency support and cleanup, Wilco included, register by March 2, 2021: https://adrn.org/ 512-428-6322

Habitat of Williamson County offers home repair support and operates Re-Store materials stores in Georgetown and Round Rock: https://williamsonhabitat.org/ 512-863-4344

Gas leak test and emergency inspections: 512-930-2550 or permits@georgetown.org

Local aid organizations

First Baptist Georgetown: https://fbg.church/fbghelpcenter/
The Caring Place: https://www.caringplacetx.org/
Central Texas Together:https://www.facebook.com/CentralTexasTogether/
Austin Mutual Aid: https://www.facebook.com/AustinMutualAid/
Austin Disaster Relief Network: https://adrn.org/
Central Texas Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/local/texas/central-and-south-texas.html
Laundry Love Georgetown: https://www.facebook.com/laundrylovegeorgetown

Georgetown customers 

https://georgetown.org/contact-us/city-services-guide/

Report/ask about Georgetown water/electric outages (please check outage maps first): customercare@georgetown.org

Report tree limbs on power lines and in roadways: customercare@georgetown.org

Report public water line leaks: leak@georgetown.org

Request help shutting off water: leak@georgetown.org

Gas leak test and emergency inspections: 512-930-2550 or permits@georgetown.org

Emergency injury, safety, health, fire: 911

State/federal resources

Federal disaster assistance

Apply for federal disaster assistance. The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.

If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

Read more here.

Texas Health and Human Services

Information on SNAP guidelines, healthcare, housing, and other assistance available from the state can be found here.

Public Utility Commission

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC or PUCT) is a state agency that regulates the state’s electric, water and telecommunication utilities, implements respective legislation, and offers customer assistance in resolving consumer complaints.

https://www.puc.texas.gov/

Damage assessment

The Governor announced a statewide effort to collect damage assessment data for this unprecedented event. Information is being collected to help officials across the state gain an understanding of damages for individuals throughout Texas.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management has created a simple self-reporting survey for Texans to report their damage and impacts from this recent winter event.  It is very important that residents and businesses report their damage so the State receives the amount of financial support from the federal government needed to assist residents.  Please help spread the word…and if you know friends, neighbors, and colleagues that have experienced some damage or some impacts from this disaster, have them fill out the survey.  Posting this survey on social media is encouraged.

You can access the survey through the QR code, or going to the  tdem.texas.gov/warm  website where there is a link to the self-reporting survey.

Individuals report damage

Residents can go online to report damage. https://arcg.is/uOrOb This link will gather the data of the community and business damage impacts (which the city needs for the DSO). Or they can go to www.tdem.texas.gov/warm

 

Link: https://arcg.is/uOrOb

QR Code:

 

Individual assistance

If you were affected by the winter storms in Texas, you can apply for disaster assistance. Applicants are required to inform FEMA of all insurance coverage such as flood, homeowners, renter’s, etc. that may be available to them. Insured applicants must provide FEMA documentation such as an insurance settlement or denial letter to process their application.

For Texas Residents in the FEMA Declared Counties, please visit https://disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. CT, 7 days a week.

Business assistance

The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster.

The following link is for residents to sign up for Individual Assistance:

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

Winter Weather Updates

[Updated at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26. This page will be updated as news becomes available.]

 

Click any of the links below to be taken to that section of the updates.

          1. Disaster relief resources guide
          2. Winter storm leak adjustment request
          3. Tree limb collection
          4. Crisis clean up assistance
          5. Permits for winter storm damage repairs
          6. Water/electric outages
          7. Solid waste and recycling collection
          8. Disaster Declarations
          9. Other service providers in Georgetown

Questions about the winter storm and the City’s recovery efforts? Check out the Georgetown winter storm FAQ

Disaster Relief Resources for Winter Storm Uri

The City of Georgetown has developed a Disaster Relief Resources for Winter Storm Uri page with information about available resources, including:

  • Local resources: General, food, mental health, transportation, unemployment benefits, utilities, renters/homeowners, local aid organizations, City services
  • State/federal resources: disaster relief, Texas Health and Human Services, Public Utility Commission
  • Damage assessment information

2021 Winter storm leak adjustment request

The City of Georgetown is providing relief from water leaks resulting from the severe winter weather in February 2021 by offering expanded credits to customers. The adjustment will be 100% of the difference between your highest consumption during the leak period and normal comparable consumption during the same period last year. Leaks are expected to be repaired as soon as possible after discovery.

Please fill out the form completely and allow 10 days for an adjustment to appear on your account. No adjustments on delinquent accounts.  Enrollment in our Aqua Alert Program is required, if available in your area.

Click here to download the form. Once completed, you may present it to customer care one of the following ways:

Scan and email the completed form to customercare@georgetown.org.

Mail or in-person delivery to:

City of Georgetown
Customer Care
300-1 Industrial Ave.

Georgetown, TX 78626

Read more about what to do when you find a water leak here.

Tree limb collection started Feb. 24

Crews contracted by the City of Georgetown have begun picking up tree limbs and brush left from the winter storm Feb. 11-20. The special pickup is for residents who live in Georgetown city limits.

Limbs and brush should be piled at the curb by Thursday, March 4. Multiple crews are collecting tree limbs across the city. If you need help with cutting limbs or moving them to the curb, see the information on volunteer help below. If you have limbs from the winter storm that need to be picked up, but cannot have them at the curb by March 4, please contact Customer Care at customercare@georgetown.org or call 512-930-3640.

Click here to find out more.

Crisis clean up assistance

Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN), Central Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (CTX VOAD), and the volunteer management platform; Crisis Clean Up are collaborating with the Counties of Bastrop, Hays, Travis, Williamson in a massive “Clean Up” effort. Homeowners who have few resources and abilities can request assistance in the removal of fallen trees, limbs, interiors of home water damage, and other storm-related damage. Requests for clean-up assistance must be made by March 2.

Homeowners can call the “Crisis Clean Up” toll-free number at 1-800-329-8052 to request assistance to clean up their home and/or debris. Home cleanups will take priority between the two. Client information will then be shared with a network of volunteer organizations. These organizations will coordinate cleanup with homeowners and will ultimately deploy their volunteers to homeowner locations to assist in clearing the debris and removing interior water/storm-related damage.

For more information: adrn.org/disaster-relief/winter-storm-crisis-cleanup-guide.

Permits for winter storm damage repairs

The City of Georgetown’s Building Inspections Department will be working with homeowners and businesses during the next month to assess damage from the Feb. 10-21 winter weather event.

From Feb. 20-March 23, the City will assess each repair situation reported by customers to determine if a permit is required. Permits are required when multiple water pipes are broken since those damages can affect the integrity of the plumbing system and fixtures. The City is waiving permit fees on a case-by-case basis during this month-long assessment period.

Property owners are not required to request a permit for emergency repairs, such as replacing a hose bib or a short section of pipe (5 feet or less).

If more repairs need to be done, a remodel permit must be retained. A remodel permit is 42 cents per square foot. Permits are still required for repairs to gas lines or gas systems.

Visit permits.georgetown.org for more information and updates.

Water/electric outages

If you are experiencing a water or electric outage, please check our outage map. If your outage is not shown, please call 512-930-3640 and select option 1 for “electric/water/sewer emergency” to be transferred to the outage-reporting phone system. If you can’t get through via phone, you can email customercare@georgetown.org. The call center operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Calls received after hours are routed to the control center.

Solid waste and recycling collection

Texas Disposal Systems resumed normal collection of landfill trash and recycling on Monday, Feb. 22. Please put your carts curbside on your normal collection day.

Extra recycling can be placed in cardboard boxes next to your recycling cart.

TDS is processing several tons more waste than typical as a result of the storm. If your pickup was missed or you have other questions, please call 512-930-1715.

The Transfer Station, 250 W.L. Walden Drive, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday for Georgetown utility customers to drop off brushy debris and recycling.

Georgetown utility customers may drop off 3 cubic yards of brush or yard trimmings, and unlimited recyclables at no charge through Saturday, Feb. 26. After that, only recyclables will be free of charge. Customers will be charged for landfill trash brought to the stations, so you are encouraged to leave that by your cart on your curb instead. Customers should bring a utility bill and matching ID.

The limits are per load, not per customer.

Disaster declarations

The City of Georgetown issued a disaster declaration on Feb. 14 due to the winter storm. City Council extended the declaration until March 23, 2021, at a special-called meeting at 2 p.m. Feb. 21 via Zoom. Staff continues to work with other cities, Williamson County, and regional partners to coordinate the response to this event.

The disaster declaration allows the City to request resources from the county, state, and federal government in responding to the winter storm. Resources could include sheltering needs, cleanup assistance, or emergency response. The disaster declaration is the legal mechanism to seek reimbursement for these expenses. The disaster declaration also authorizes the mayor to effect actions such as evacuations, altering transportation routes, establishing a curfew, suspending deadlines in city ordinances, and other measures to protect life and secure property in an emergency.

The disaster declaration is not the same as the Drought Contingency Plan, which authorizes the City to enact water use restrictions in order to provide for basic domestic use and fire flow.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide disaster declaration Feb. 12.

President Joseph Biden issued a federal disaster declaration Feb. 14.

Other service providers in Georgetown

Internet/Phone: Suddenlink

Gas: Atmos Energy

Electric utilities:

Oncor
Pedernales Electric Cooperative

Water use restrictions lifted at noon Feb. 23

Restrictions on nonessential use of water were lifted at noon Feb. 23 for all City of Georgetown water customers. The City’s water has recovered storage capacity and returned to normal operations following the winter storm, allowing the City to lift the restrictions early.

The restrictions lift at noon to gavecommercial businesses affected by the restrictions, like carwashes, time to staff for the day and ensure they open at the same time, so as not to give businesses an unfair advantage.

“We are so grateful for everyone’s hard work limiting water use the past few days. Our water system recovered much quicker than anticipated, and we have returned to normal operations,” City Manager David Morgan said. “The water and power outages many of our customers experienced during and after the winter storm last week were extremely challenging on all of us. The strength and goodwill you showed your neighbors and our crews working around the clock truly helped us all get through this.”

Water uses such as irrigation, washing vehicles, adding water to a pool, and industrial uses are permitted once the restrictions lift. However, leaving irrigation systems off and limiting other outdoor uses are still encouraged.

Restrictions on outdoor water use started at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 and initially were scheduled to lift at 11:59 p.m. Feb. 24. The restrictions were put in place to allow the City’s water system time to recover from the effects of the subfreezing temperatures and power outages last week.

All boil water notices have been lifted for Georgetown water customers. The last boil water notice was lifted Monday after samples indicated that state drinking water standards were met.

The City of Georgetown enacted Stage 3 of the Drought Contingency Plan at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 for all its customers, because the recent ice storm created a demand for water that exceeded the supply, and severe conservation measures are required to maintain the ability to provide the proper level of service.

 City crews worked around the clock to address the issues caused by the winter storm, including repairing lift and pump stations, as well as burst water mains.

Boil water notice lifted for Florence area

Water boil notice lifted for Florence area

The City of Georgetown has lifted the boil water notice for 720 affected customers in the Florence area. This is the last boil water notice that was issued as a result of low pressure due to the prolonged subfreezing temperatures and from power outages due to the recent winter storm. As a result, no Georgetown water service areas have to boil water prior to consumption.

Water service has been restored to all City of Georgetown customers affected by the storm; however, the system is still recovering, so the Phase 3 essential use restriction remains in place for all customers through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. Customers should limit water use to essential domestic purposes such as drinking and cooking.

The water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes has undergone laboratory tests and results provided to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that indicates the water no longer requires boiling prior to use as of Feb. 22, 2021.

Customers might experience sedimentation and/or discoloration resulting from the loss of pressure in the water system. To remove sedimentation and/or discoloration, people should flush household pipes, ice makers, water fountains, etc., prior to using it for drinking or cooking. Flushing simply means letting the water run to ensure no sedimentation and/or discoloration remains in your pipes. Here are some steps people should take:

  • Run all cold-water faucets in your home until air and discolored water stop.
  • To flush automatic ice makers, make and discard three batches of ice.
  • Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle

Please check the outage map for the latest information.

As the water system works to refill the water towers, it does take time for the system to fully respond, and continued fluctuations in water pressure are to be expected.

Due to the prolonged subfreezing temperatures and power outages during the winter storm, treatment and distribution facilities struggled to maintain the water pressure required by law, and many customers lost water pressure or water service.

City crews worked around the clock to address the issues caused by the winter storm, including repairing lift and pump stations, as well as burst water mains.

The City lifted the following boil water notices on Sunday, Feb. 21:

  • The Westinghouse area bound by IH-35 to FM1460 (about 1,700 customers)
  • Liberty Hill (1,300 customers)

The City lifted the following boil water notices on Saturday, Feb. 20:

  • Leander Road/FM2243 area, from Southwest Bypass to Garey Park and the Parkside Parkway area, from FM 2243 to Sam Bass Road (1,300 customers)
  • Wood Road/Hwy. 29 area, bound by I-35, D.B. Wood Road, Hwy. 29, and Williams Drive. The includes the area of Booty’s Crossing Road, Serenada Neighborhood, portions of Berry Creek Neighborhood, and Wolf Ranch Northfork and Southfork (3,600 customers)
  • Areas west of Georgetown, including Santa Rita, Northlake, and Andice (about 11,000 customers)

Water restrictions in place as water system recovers

The City of Georgetown is enacting Stage 3 of the Drought Contingency Plan for all its customers effective 5 p.m. Feb. 21, 2021. Georgetown water customers must severely restrict all use of potable water through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, when a safe and adequate water supply for public use is expected to be restored. Find out more at https://bit.ly/2ZBwG8j.

Updates will be posted to georgetown.org.

Boil water FAQs

Is the water safe for brushing teeth, washing hands or bathing?
During a boil water notice, you can use tap water and soap to wash hands. Be sure to scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and rinse well under running water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

While you can use tap water for bathing and showering, be careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

Brush teeth with previously boiled or bottled water. Do not use untreated tap water.

How do I prepare food and baby formula?
Use boiled or bottled water only for drinking, cooking, making ice, washing fruits and vegetables, brushing teeth, making baby formula, bathing and cleaning.

Breast feed your baby or use ready-made formula. If you must use water to make formula, use bottled water. If you don’t have bottled water, use water that has been rapidly boiled for at least two (2) minutes.

What about my pets?
You should follow the same boiling water procedures for your pet as you would for yourself.
Is the water safe for washing dishes and laundry?
The water is safe for washing dishes, but you should use hot, soapy water (you may add one tablespoon of bleach per gallon as a precaution) and rinse dishes in boiled water. Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65.55°Celsius), or if the dishwater has a sanitizing cycle.
However, until the Georgetown’s water service is restored, please continue to conserve water, using only what is absolutely necessary.

Water service and boil water update

Update Wednesday, Feb. 24: All boil water notices have been lifted as of Feb. 22.

Update Saturday, Feb. 20: The boil water notice is still in effect. Samples taken throughout the system (except Florence), are awaiting results to be able to lift boil water notices. Samples take 1-2 days for results. Notices will be updated when the boil water notice is no longer in place.

A boil water notice remains in effect for selected areas of the Georgetown Water Utility with some customers without water service. See the area effected by the boil water order on the water outage map. The utility has made progress with major leak repairs and is currently refilling the system. Customers should continue to conserve water, using only what is absolutely necessary until the system is recovered and the boil water notice is lifted.

The capacity of the water system is still impacted by loss of pumping capacity due to subfreezing cold and icing. Water utility employees are working continuously to repair impacted equipment to restore the system to full capacity.

With the repair of major leaks, the refilling of the system has started. Customers in areas with no water service may see a slow return of water pressure with some air in the water lines. Air can be released by slightly opening a single faucet to vent the air.  Customers should use caution when flushing toilets when air is present in the system as the air can cause pressure fluctuation and impact the toilet fill valves.

As the system recovers, customers should continue to conserve so that the entire system can be filled as rapidly as possible. This will allow the proper samples to be taken, analyzed, and communicated to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality so that the boil water notice can be lifted.

Due to the vast service area of the utility, customers can also be helpful by notifying the utility of any water leaks that they see by calling 512-930-3640 or sending an email to leak@georgetown.org.

The boil water notice remains in effect for portions of the service area. Utility system repairs continue with refilling of the system in progress.  Customers should continue to conserve while this system recovery is in progress.

Georgetown winter storm FAQs

Updated Feb. 24, 2021

General questions

Are we going to collect any broken limbs or trees in our yards?

Crews contracted by the City of Georgetown have begun picking up tree limbs and brush left from the winter storm Feb. 11-20. The special pickup is free and for residents who live in City of Georgetown city limits.

Limbs and brush should be piled at the curb by Thursday, March 4. Multiple crews are collecting tree limbs across the city. If you need help with cutting limbs or moving them to the curb, see the information on volunteer help below. If you have limbs from the winter storm that need to be picked up, but cannot have them at the curb by March 4, please contact Customer Care at customercare@georgetown.org or call 512-930-3640.

Click here to find out more.

Are we going to be charged extra for extra trash that wasn’t picked up?

You will not be charged for extra trash and recycling left at your curb through Feb. 27, 2021.

Texas Disposal Systems returned to its normal routes Monday, Feb. 22. Please put the following items in your cart, and place the cart curbside on your normal day for Texas Disposal Systems to collect:

Additionally, the Transfer Station, 250 W.L. Walden Dr., is open daily through Saturday, Feb. 27, to take drop-offs. It is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

People can take up to 3 cubic yards of brush per trip (no trip limit) to the transfer station free of charge through Feb. 27. Extra recycling is always free to drop off at the transfer station. Landfill trash brought to the transfer station will incur a fee, and people are encouraged to leave it on their curbside for regular pickup.

Please read here for more details.

How do I measure 3 cubic yards?

A cubic yard is a measure of volume, or how much matter can fit in a space, such as a trailer. A trailer’s dimensions, such as height, length or volume, are often provided in feet. The following outlines steps to help you convert the dimensions of your trailer into cubic yards.

Multiply the length, width, and height of your trailer. For example, the formula for a trailer that’s 28 feet long by 8 feet wide by 9 feet high is 28 feet x 8 feet x 9 feet, which equals 2,016 cubic feet.

Convert cubic feet into cubic yards by dividing the result by 27. In the example above, 2,016 divided by 27 comes to 74.7 cubic yards.

Generally speaking, the beds of most trucks should get you under 3 cubic yards. Here’s a helpful graphic from our friends in Cedar Grove that shows cubic yards by common truck beds.

I called the call center, but couldn’t get through to anyone. And I posted my question to social media, but never saw an answer. What gives?
We understand this is a very scary, confusing, and frustrating time, and people have a lot of questions. We have staff working around the clock to answer calls, emails, and post to social media to keep you informed with the latest information we have. However, we know the call center gets backlogged, and questions on social often go unanswered.

Given the prolonged nature of this event, we are having to distribute call center and communications staff across multiple shifts. This limits the number of people available to answer calls and respond to the hundreds of comments we get on social media. That means longer wait times when you call and lack of response to your questions on Facebook and Twitter.

To help address questions with staffing limitations, we work to update our automated voice message when you call with relevant information and post updates as we have them. By the time we’ve created that content, had it approved, and posted, we have a new emergency to notify you about. With limited staffing, that doesn’t give us time to answer individual questions on social media. Please remember, the people who have answers to some of your questions work for our water and electric utilities. They are focused on managing the ongoing emergencies and system failures and can’t always step away to help us answer your questions.

However, while we can’t individually answer your comments on social media, we are logging your questions. We used them to inform this FAQ, which we will continue to update, and will share this information on social media in the hopes it helps answer some of the frequent questions we see there.

Why did the City of Georgetown enact a disaster declaration?

The disaster declaration allows the City to request resources from the county, state, and federal government in responding to the winter storm. Resources could include sheltering needs, cleanup assistance, or emergency response. The disaster declaration is the legal mechanism to seek reimbursement for these expenses. The disaster declaration also authorizes the mayor to effect actions such as evacuations, altering transportation routes, establishing a curfew, suspending deadlines in city ordinances, and other measures to protect life and secure property in an emergency.

The disaster declaration is not the same as the Drought Contingency Plan, which authorizes the City to enact water use restrictions in order to provide for basic domestic use and fire flow.

If I had storm damage, where can I apply for assistance?

If you sustained damages from the winter storm, and you have insurance, contact your insurance company and then FEMA. Your insurance claim information is needed to determine eligibility for federal assistance.

Applications are accepted 24/7 at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling: 800-621-3362.

Why have I not been getting emergency alerts from the City?

If you have already registered to get emergency alerts, you may need to update mobile phone numbers or other contact information at WarnCentralTexas.org. You can register multiple phone numbers to receive alerts. Also, make sure we have a current phone number in your City of Georgetown utility account information. Utility account information also is used for some alerts. You can add or change a phone number for your utility account at https://gus.georgetown.org/customercare/paying-your-bill/.

Can I report winter storm damage and needs?

As we continue to move through last week’s unprecedented winter storm, the City of Georgetown would like to share some ways to communicate your damages and needs.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management is conducting a voluntary survey of damages across Texas. This information helps emergency management officials across the state gain an understanding of damages that have occurred during the recent winter weather. Please consider taking this survey and sharing photos of any damage you have at your business or residence.

CLICK TO SUBMIT SURVEY

In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster.

CLICK TO SUBMIT YOUR INFORMATION

If you sustained damages from the winter storm, and you have insurance, contact your insurance company and then FEMA. Your insurance claim information is needed to determine eligibility for federal assistance.

Applications are accepted 24/7 at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling: 800-621-3362.

Water questions

Do we get a credit for being told to drip my water?
No, there is no way to confirm water use was due to dripping, and it wasn’t mandated. That being said, dripping your water faucet to help pipes from freezing undoubtedly helped ensure our water system wasn’t as damaged as it would have been otherwise, saving you and all of Georgetown even more outages and many thousands of dollars in repairs.
I found a water leak. What do I do?
As service returns and temperatures rise, pipes that have frozen may burst. This is as true for your household pipes as it is for larger City pipes throughout the system.

Georgetown customers are responsible for their water lines up to the meter. The steps differ depending on whose responsibility it is, so the first step is to determine where the leak is coming from.

If you do reach out to the City for assistance, please try to send pictures and/or detail about the leak. That will help us determine the severity/priority and possibly whose responsibility it is, without needing to dispatch crews.

Leaks inside your home

If water is leaking inside your home, you will need to take steps to fix it.

First, determine whether you can control the leak with plumbing valves. If not, you need to turn the water off to the whole house.

Turning off your water

If you need water turned off to the house, call 911 so we can dispatch a technician. Try to manage the water with buckets/towels until we get there. If you can locate and shut off your main water valve, please do so immediately. This will prevent additional water from flowing and damaging your property. Here’s a resource to help you find your main water shut-off valve. If you are unable to locate it, call 512-930-3640.

We know some customers have been without service for days and are in dire need of water. If you have been without water for days, consider filling up bathtubs and pots before shutting off your water valve.

Next, call a professional plumber or other professional. Given the severity of the issue and the possibility of leaks throughout the City, you should plan for longer response times.

Finally, you should consider contacting your insurance provider.

Leaks outside your home

Georgetown customers are responsible for their water lines up to the meter. If the leak is on your property up to your water meter, you will need to follow the steps above to address it. City crews are available to turn off your main water valve if you can’t find it.

If the leak is beyond your water meter and into the public right of way, please notify the City immediately so we can send out a crew. Due to the vast service area of the utility, customers can also be helpful by notifying the utility of any water leaks that they see in public rights of way by emailing leak@georgetown.org.

Finally, we expect there to be a lot of drainage for several days after water services are restored. There will be wet spots that might look like leaks. Sending pictures and/or as much description as you can will be critical in helping staff determine if it’s a leak before dispatching crews.

Who covers the cost of broken pipes?
The City will cover the cost of broken pipes up to and including the meter. Property owners are responsible for the cost to repair broken pipes from the meter to their home.
Are we going to get a credit for the power or water we didn’t use?
No. Georgetown water and electric customers are charged for what is consumed, above the base rate.

Electric questions

Why did we keep having power outages?
Two primary reasons: Power outages and rotating outages. Both are tied directly to the severity and longevity of the winter weather that has been hitting the state since last week. Temperatures in Texas reached lower than they have in 30 years, and crews are working around the clock to restore power and share updates as best we can.

Power outages: The winter weather took a devastating toll on electric infrastructure, causing outages like we see at other times. In this instance, inches of ice weighing down tree limbs and on the electric lines themselves are a primary culprit. City crews are actively responding and resolving these power outages as soon as possible, though the icy conditions make travel make that work take longer than it would otherwise.

Rotating outages: These were required by the statewide electric grid – managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) – and are not normal. The severity of prolonged winter weather and the condition of the electric grid are such that the energy available statewide could barely keep up with demand. More on this later.

Why did some customers not lose power?
Because Georgetown was mandated by ERCOT to shed so much load to help reduce demand, we have a limited number of non-critical load circuits on which to spread the shed requirements. The parts of our service area that experienced rotating outages were based the circuit they’re on. Areas with power likely share a circuit with a critical load circuit. Critical load circuits include hospitals, control centers, 911, the airport and water/wastewater plants and are not subject to outages.

We tried to limit rotating outages to no more than three hours and keep power on for four hours at a time. It’s not perfect and it might not seem like it sometimes, but we did our best to spread the shed requirements equitably across the city.

I'm hearing that the City is going to raise electric rates to profit off the disaster.

Many of our customers are concerned that their utility bills will see a huge spike as has been reported in the state and national media.

No. Our utility rates will not increase during this unprecedented weather event. However, the electric usage will likely be much higher than normal due to almost two weeks of extreme cold weather, which may result in higher than normal bills this billing period.

We are an electric utility owned by the City of Georgetown. The retail rates are set by City rate ordinances. Rates can only change if the City Council changes the electric rate ordinance.

Over the next two weeks, we will fully evaluate the financial impacts of the weather event including the cost of energy. City council will then address the financial impacts as necessary.

 

Water outage restoration work update

The City of Georgetown is working to restore water service in areas affected by outages or low water pressure, which led to boil water orders. Water pressure has been improved in some areas affected by the sub-freezing temperatures. The City does not yet have an estimate for restoring full water service to outage areas.

Those in areas with boil water orders in place may begin to see the restoration of water pressure as repairs are made. Customers should continue to boil water before drinking until the boil water notices are lifted. Once water pressure is restored, the utility takes water samples for testing to ensure it is safe to drink.

Current water service restoration work includes:

  • Mobilizing contractors to help Water Department staff fix water lines ruptured by freezing temperatures, including a 10-inch line in Liberty Hill and a 16-inch line in Mayfield Ranch
  • Working to use and repair generators to run pumps without power, especially in western parts of the service area
  • Using generators to re-establish telecommunication links for monitoring and control to tanks, pumps, and other equipment affected by power outages
  • Using heaters to deice pumps and valves affected by freezing at water treatment plants

 

Utility crews and others in the City are working around the clock to make repairs and restore water service.

Once water pressure is restored and water is tested to ensure it is safe to drink, the City will notify the public that the boil water orders have been lifted.

Customers can help to contribute to restoring water pressure by limiting water use to essential needs. Delaying washing clothes and making sure irrigation systems are off can help to reduce system demands.

Information about water outages is shown on the water outage map.

For additional updates about water and power outages, go to georgetown.org.

Winter Storm FAQ

Districts 1 and 5 city council candidates set for May 1 election

For Georgetown City Council elections in May, incumbent Mary Calixtro and Amanda Parr have filed to run in District 1, and Jason Norwood and incumbent Kevin Pitts have filed to run in District 5. The filing deadline was 5 p.m. today.

Early in-person voting is April 19-24 and April 26-27. Election Day is May 1. The last day to register to vote is April 1.

Early voting and Election Day polling places, dates, and times will be listed at wilco.org/elections.

View council district maps at maps.georgetown.org.

For updates about the city council election, go to georgetown.org.

Georgetown calls $90M mobility bond for May 1 election

The City of Georgetown has called a bond election for Tuesday, May 1, 2021. Voters will consider one bond proposition for various street and transportation infrastructure projects. This election is being held in conjunction with the May General Election for local offices and propositions for other taxing entities, including City Council districts 1 and 5.

The total amount of the bond proposition is $90 million in new funding authorizations. If voters approve Proposition A, the City anticipates raising the property tax rate by 3 cents once the bonds are issued to cover the full cost of the projects. The average Georgetown resident could expect their annual property taxes to increase by $83.40, based on the average homestead taxable value in 2020 of $278,001. The City expects to start work on the projects within seven years, economic conditions permitting.

The anticipated 3-cent tax rate increase would generate an estimated $120 million during the life of the bond, which is the total amount required to complete the projects. The additional $30 million generated by the tax increase would go toward completing work on related projects from the 2008 and 2015 bonds that were approved by voters but never funded.

The projects included in Proposition A on the ballot May 1 are as follows:

Project 1: SE Inner Loop | Anticipated $32 million

This 2.91-mile project consists of widening SE Inner Loop to a four-lane, divided, minor arterial from SH 29 to Sam Houston Avenue and to a five-lane, undivided, major arterial from Sam Houston Avenue to FM 1460. The project also includes a shared-use path for pedestrians and bicycles on one side. This project will include engineering and right-of-way acquisition scopes of work from the 2015 bond.

Project 2: Shell Road |Anticipated $12.5 million

This 1.12-mile project consists of widening Shell Road to a four-lane, divided, major arterial from 500 feet north of Williams Drive to 300 feet north of Sycamore Street, with open-ditch drainage. The project also includes a shared-use path for pedestrians and bicycles on one side. This project will include engineering and right-of-way acquisition scopes of work from the 2015 bond.

Project 3: Williams Drive| Anticipated $10.2 million

This 3.18-mile project consists of replacing the existing center turn lane on Williams Drive with a landscaped median, with median openings and left turn bays at limited locations, to create a four-lane divided roadway from DB Wood Road to IH 35. In addition, the project will fill existing sidewalk gaps and repair failing sidewalks. This project will include engineering and right-of-way acquisition scopes of work from the 2015 bond.

Project 4: DB Wood Road | Anticipated $19 million

This 1.99-mile project consists widening the existing two-lane section of DB Wood Road to a four-lane, major arterial with open ditch drainage and a shared-use path for pedestrians and bicycles on one side. This project also includes installing a median in the existing center turn lane south of the Public Safety Center. This project will include engineering and right-of-way acquisition scopes of work from the 2015 bond.

Project 5: Leander Road | Anticipated $7.7 million

This 0.69-mile project consists of widening Leander Road to a four-lane, divided, major arterial from Southwest Bypass to Norwood Drive with open ditch drainage. This project will also include a grass median and sidewalks on both sides of the road. This project will include work from the 2015 bond.

Project 6: Austin Avenue Bridges | Anticipated $11.5 million

This proposition would provide funding to rehabilitate the bridges on Austin Avenue and construct a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the north and south forks of the San Gabriel River. The new pedestrian and bicycle bridge would cost $3.8 million of the total estimated cost to construct.

Project 7: Rockride Lane| Anticipated $5.8 million

This project consists of widening Rockride Lane from SE Inner Loop to Sam Houston Avenue to a two-lane collector road with a center turn lane, on-street bike lanes on the shoulders, and sidewalks on both sides of the road.

Project 8: Westinghouse Road | Anticipated $8.2 million

This project is a partnership between the City of Georgetown and Williamson County that would fully reconstruct the two-lane section of Westinghouse Road from FM 1460 to SH 130. This project includes improving shoulders and removing 90-degree turns.

Voters approved this project in the 2019 Williamson County bond. The total project cost is $20.2 million. City would contribute $8.2 million, primarily to improve shoulders on the two-lane section of the road. This cost roughly corresponds to the portion of the extension in the City limits, relative to the full project length.

Project 9: Sam Houston Avenue Extension / SE 1 / Wilco Corridor C | Anticipated $4 million

This 2008 bond project would provide the City’s portion of funding to extend Sam Houston Avenue (initially designated Southeast Arterial 1) as a two-lane road from Patriot Way to SH 29.

Voters approved this $22.5 million project in the 2019 Williamson County bond. The City’s $4 million contribution roughly corresponds to the portion of the extension in the City limits, relative to the full project length. Other funding sources for SE1 include Williamson County and the City’s 0.5 percent 4B sales tax associated with the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corporation (GTEC).

Allocations for other transportation infrastructure | Anticipated $10.45 million

The City of Georgetown 2021 Mobility Bond aims to increase roadway capacities and create new, safe connections within and among communities. In addition to the proposed roadway projects, a portion of bond dollars will be allocated to additional infrastructure projects including bicycle facilities, sidewalks, intersection improvements, and transportation technology upgrades. Funding would go toward priority projects identified in both the Sidewalks and Bicycle master plans, as well as prioritized intersections and corridors. Authorization from the 2015 bond could be used for sidewalk and intersection work.

Bond background

In July 2020, City Council created a 16-member Citizen Advisory Committee to narrow down a list of projects for the bond program that address Georgetown’s overall transportation challenges, limit the burden to taxpayers, and reflect the public priorities. The advisory committee spent six months reviewing and evaluating 23 possible bond projects with an estimated total cost of more than $400 million. In January 2021, the Citizen Advisory Committee provided Council with rankings of the top 10 roadway projects and allocations for sidewalks, bicycle facilities, intersections, and transportation technology. The committee’s recommendations were informed by two rounds of public engagement.

For more information about Mobility Georgetown Bond 2021, visit bonds.georgetown.org.