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‘Our community deserves answers’: Committee to investigate winter storm preparedness, response in San Antonio

Committee comprised of 4 City Council members, 3 community stakeholders

A Park Policeman patrols along the River Walk as snow falls, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in San Antonio. Snow, ice and sub-freezing weather continue to wreak havoc on the state's power grid and utilities. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg on Tuesday announced the formation of a committee that will look into why the city and utility companies were not better prepared for their response to a winter storm that paralyzed the city for a week.

“While many of the factors that triggered the devastating electrical and water outages in our community were not within our control, it is our duty to report to the community how our emergency response operations and public utilities got into this situation and what can be done to prepare better for the future,” Nirenberg said in a statement. “Our community deserves answers.”

The Select Committee on 2021 Winter Storm Preparedness and Response will comprise of the following four City Council members and three community stakeholders:

  • Chairman, Reed Williams: Former District 8 City Councilman
  • Adriana Rocha Garcia: District 4 City Councilwoman
  • Ana Sandoval: District 7 City Councilwoman
  • Manny Pelaez: District 8 City Councilman
  • Clayton Perry: District 5 City Councilman
  • Lisa Tatum: Former assistant criminal district attorney and Texas Bar Association President
  • General Edward A. Rice Jr.: Retired

Nirenberg said while he wants a prompt and comprehensive effort by the committee, he wants members to be thorough in their work.

The mayor asked that City Manager Erik Walsh provide support to the committee with appropriate city staff that will coordinate with CPS Energy and San Antonio Water System, and to include any experts or stakeholders as necessary.

The announcement comes one day after the CPS Energy Board of Trustees voted Monday for a review and audit of CPS Energy, which the utility president and CEO, Paula Gold-Williams said Tuesday she “absolutely welcomes” and “(is) ready to participate.”

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