Water Update Feb 23rd at 8AM

The City of Commerce has now been able to maintain full system pressure for over 24 hours.  We will be collecting water samples today and submitting them to a third-party laboratory for bacteriological testing.  These tests take at least 24 hours to process, so if we turn in the samples today it is possible to get the results tomorrow.  However, labs are currently being overrun with testing submissions due to the large number of communities that are all under boil water alerts.

Once we can confirm that the water passes all tests and standards, we will be able to lift the boil water notice.  We are hopeful this will be tomorrow, but it could be as late as Thursday, depending on the ability of the lab to process the results.

We continue to ask customers to conserve water, but it is okay to wash clothes.  You can wash dishes, but it is recommended that you boil the water first, let it cool, and then wash dishes.

We are honored to serve the community of Commerce, and our rural customers as well.  We are working to improve our critical infrastructure to lower the risk of this occurrence again in the future. We were simply not ready for a State-wide winter storm event and the loss of the entire power grid.  We will be better, and we will do better.  Thank you for your patience and your understanding.

The City of Commerce was able to produce enough water overnight to get the water towers about half full. This should mean that all water mains and all customers within Commerce have water.
 
If you are in Commerce and still don’t have water, please let us know.
 
To the customers outside of Commerce, we will be turning on the connections this morning at 9AM. We will have to watch and see if any major leaks present themselves. 
 
We all need to continue to conserve water until all customers, including those outside of Commerce have pressure restored. Additionally, we remain under a Boil Water Alert, so please boil any tap water that will be used for cooking or drinking for two minutes. Then let it cool before use.
 
Thank you for your patience and understanding!
people clapping
WATER UPDATE- February 21st at 7:30 PM
As of 7PM, our staff has been able to successfully increase water production to a new rate of 2.6 Million gallons per day! That is an additional 1.0 Million over what we have been producing. 
 
Considering the volume of water that we already have in the system, we are cautiously optimistic that we can restore system pressure by Monday evening. This is dependent on our old equipment working for the next 24 hours.
 
We still need the community to conserve water, and we remain under a boil water alert. We appreciate your patience, understanding and continued support. 
Water
Drive Through Water Pick Up | Commerce Police/Fire Dept | Sunday, February 21st | 10 AM to 4 PM | North on Park from Culver, turn left behind Commerce FD, just before Sycamore St | Bring your Commerce residence driver license
The City is distributing non potable water which can be used to flush toilets or can be boiled and used for washing dishes, cooking or consumption.
 
Please bring containers and staff will fill them.
 
From Culver Street, drive north on Park Street. Take a left behind Commerce Fire Department, just before you reach Sycamore. (See comments for a map).
 

Drive through service only. Please wear a mask as you come in contact with our staff.

Non Potable Water Available for Pick Up | Commerce Fire Dept, 1103 Sycamore | 10 AM to 4PM, February 21st
Water Progress Sunday, Feb 21st at 10 AM
 
Your water team has been able to get production numbers up to about 1.6 Million gallons per day. This has helped us move in the right direction. We are currently working on our ability to feed Chlorine and other necessary treatment chemicals. If we can increase the chemical feed rate, then we can try to increase water production even further. Our ability to inject the proper chemicals at the proper rate is our limiting factor right now.
 
For those that have water, please continue to conserve and avoid any non-essential water use. Additionally, we remain under a boil water alert, so do not drink or cook with tap water unless it has been boiled for 2 minutes and allowed to cool.
 
Finally, there is no longer a need to drip your faucets, so help us conserve water by turning off the faucets. 
 
Thank you! #CommerceStrong
water in cup
Our friends at Texas A&M University-Commerce will also be distributing potable water tomorrow (Feb 20th) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
**Bring your own containers or water bottle. They will NOT have containers**
Map of route to pick up water at TAMUC
The City will continue distributing bottled and non-pottable water at the Commerce Police & Fire Dept TOMORROW (Feb 20th) from 10:30 AM until we run out.
 
This is DRIVE-THROUGH only. Cars should enter on Park Street, on the back side of the Fire Department, and will exit on Sycamore Street.
       ✔  Please wear your masks as you come
              in contact with City Staff
       ✔  Please bring a Driver’s License with
              your Commerce address. 
Map of route through Commerce Fire and Police departments.
Non Potable Water | available for pickup | at Commerce Fire Department, 1103 Sycamore | 4:00 to 8:00 PM | Drive-Through ONLY | limit of 1 container per family | *Please bring a container if you have one*
Bottled water available | pick up via drive through only | Commerce Fire Dept | 1103 Sycamore | Friday, February 19th | 4 to 8 PM
As water comes back into the system, we are getting a lot of questions about WHEN to boil water (Laundry? Pets? Washing Dishes?)

The CDC recommends the following:

If your local health authorities issue a boil water advisory, you should use bottled water or boil tap water because your community’s water is, or could be, contaminated with germs that can make you sick.

Standard recommendations usually include this advice:

✔ Use bottled or boiled water for drinking,
and to prepare and cook food.
✔ If bottled water is not available, bring
water to a full rolling boil for 2 minutes
(at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for
3 minutes), then allow it to cool before
use.
✔ Boil tap water even if it is filtered.
✔ Do not use water from any appliance.
connected to your water line, such as
ice. and water from a refrigerator.
✔ Breastfeeding is the best infant feeding
option. If you formula feed your child,
provide ready-to-use formula, if
available.

Handwashing

✔ In many situations, you can use tap
water and soap to wash hands. Follow
the guidance from your local public
health officials.
✔ Be sure to scrub your hands with soap
and water for at least 20 seconds, and
rinse them well under running water.
✔ If soap and water are not available, use
an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that
contains at least 60% alcohol.
Bathing and showering
✔ Be careful not to swallow any water
when bathing or showering.
✔ Use caution when bathing babies and
young children. Consider giving them a
sponge bath to reduce the chance of
them swallowing water.

Brushing teeth

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

Washing dishes

✔ If possible, use disposable plates, cups,
utensils during a boil water advisory.
✔ 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.
✔ Sterilize all baby bottles.

To wash dishes by hand:

✔ Wash and rinse the dishes as you.
normally would using hot water.
✔ In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of
unscented household liquid bleach for
each gallon of warm water.
✔ Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for
at least one minute.
✔ Let the dishes air dry completely before
using again.

Laundry

✔ It is safe to wash clothes as usual.

Cleaning

✔ Use bottled water, boiled water, or water
that has been disinfected with bleach
to clean washable toys and surfaces.

Caring for pets

✔ Pets can get sick by some of the same
germs as people or spread germs to
people.
✔ Provide bottled or boiled water after it
has been cooled for pets to use.
✔ If bottled water is not available, bring
water to a full rolling boil for 2 minutes,
then allow it to cool before use.
✔ Boil tap water even if it is filtered.
✔ Do not use water from any appliance
connected to your water line, such as
ice and water from a refrigerator.

Caring for your garden and houseplants

✔ You can use tap water for household
plants and gardens.
Pot of boiling water
ATTENTION COMMERCE:
 
Our dispatch at Commerce Police Department is finally back up and running and they are back in their building with power. Please discontinue use of UPD dispatch number and
utilize the 903.886.1139 to report issues with frozen pipes, water leaks and issues, etc.
 

HUGE Thank you to UPD and their dispatch for letting us house with them. We are so grateful for the partnership between the University and City.

Texas Police | To protect and serve | 903.886.1139
The City of Commerce has been sending water into town since 7AM on Thursday. After 9 hours of pumping, we are still not gaining pressure within the distribution system. 
 
Crews are actively working to assess the situation. We will provide further updates as information becomes available.
Sink
WATER UPDATE (2/18 AT 5AM)
 
City staff at the water treatment plant worked through the night to get various systems repaired, and the Plant began to treat water at approximately 5AM on Thursday morning. 
 
It will take two hours for the water to make it through the treatment process, so we should be able to send water into town by 7AM.
 
We expect that it will take approximately eight hours to pressurize the distribution system, so around 3PM on Thursday everyone should have basic water pressure. 
 
We ask everyone to practice water conservation so that we can restore the full system in a timely manner.
Water Update 2/17
 
Power has been restored to the Water Treatment Plant and a temporary pump has been put into service. Water is flowing into the treatment plant!
 
Staff expects to start up the treatment process between 7 and 8 PM on February 17th. At that point we should begin to send treated water into town. 
 
We will provide further updates at the following milestones:
 
– when water begins flowing into town
– when the system is fully pressurized
– when the water towers are full
 
As water pressure begins to return, customers may begin to find leaks if pipes burst during the freeze. We will have crews available to help turn off water at the customer’s meter if that becomes necessary. Call 903.886.5111

ONCOR: EMERGENCY UPDATE

For additional information, contact: Oncor Communications 877.426.1616
DALLAS (Feb. 17, 2021)

There continues to be a lack of available generation, and as a result, controlled outages remain in place as directed by ERCOT. Due to lowered power demand overnight, Oncor and other utilities were able to restore some of the previously dropped power load and increase our capability to rotate some outages throughout the territory. Even with this increased capability, we still have many customers who continue to experience extended outages. We continue to strive toward providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest as soon as enough generation is available. However, as we saw yesterday, low temperatures of the early morning and increased power demand may result in direction from ERCOT to once again reduce additional load. We will continue to take their direction as we focus on ensuring the integrity of the electric grid.

 

The second winter storm is also continuing to move through our service territory, potentially resulting in multiple inches of snow, significant ice and sleet accumulation. While weather impacts are ongoing, personnel and out of state mutual assistance contractors were staged across the territory before the storm and are now actively engaged in restoration efforts. These personnel are well experienced in working in extreme weather conditions and will be working around the clock to assess damages, clear debris and repair damaged equipment.

FAQ’s

 Q: Why is my power out?

Customers have power outages for two primary reasons: First, controlled power outages in response to the shortage of generation. Oncor does not generate electricity or control or operate generation facilities – we deliver it. As a result of this generation shortage, ERCOT, which oversees the Texas electric grid, has directed transmission and distribution companies like Oncor to reduce load on the electrical grid through controlled outages.

These controlled outages were intended to roll throughout the service territory, but the high amount of load dropped from the grid prevented us and other utilities from performing regular rotations, leading to extended periods without power for many of our customers. We continue to strive toward providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest as soon as enough generation is available.

Additionally, the second winter storm is also continuing to move through our service territory, potentially resulting in multiple inches of snow, significant ice and sleet accumulation. Personnel and out of state mutual assistance contractors are actively engaged in restoration efforts.  

How does Oncor decide who is affected by controlled or rotating outages?

The location of controlled, or rotating, outages depends on a variety of load factors, including the amount ERCOT has directed us to drop and the amount available to be safely disconnected. These types of outages primarily occur in residential neighborhoods and commercial areas. We also strive to avoid dropping hospitals and other critical loads and infrastructure.

Typically, Oncor’s emergency operation plans spread these outages across the service territory on a rotating basis. Due to this unique widespread power emergency however, ERCOT has directed Oncor to drop a record amount of load over a much longer period of time. Therefore, we have had to drop all available, non-critical load and regular rotations have often been prevented. These outages are absolutely critical for ensuring the integrity of the grid and preventing cascading impacts such as a blackout. We will continue to rotate outages where possible and aim to provide any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest as soon as enough generation is available.

Q: Why are some homes out for hours and others not at all?

Controlled outages can affect customers differently based on the load reduction required by ERCOT. For example, customers near critical facilities, or those in limited areas where rolling outages cannot take place to maintain grid stability, may not experience outages, while those farther from these facilities or areas may experience multiple outages for longer periods of time.

Additionally, in case there are instances of substantial generation drop, safeguards are built into our system that drop customer loads automatically to prevent cascading widespread outages, or ultimately a blackout. These are designed to be short term drops that are reset quicker than controlled outages to prepare for the next response opportunity. As these limited areas must be energized in order to provide this grid protection, it could affect you but not your neighbor. Keeping these limited areas energized also helps stabilize the system, so when controlled outages are done, we can more easily get everything reconnected and turned back on. These are diverse geographical areas across the grid, based solely on the mathematic and engineering needs of the electric system.

Lastly, while these controlled outages were intended to roll throughout the service territory, the high amount of load dropped from the grid prevented us and other utilities from performing regular rotations, leading to extended periods without power for many of our customers. We continue to strive toward providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest as soon as enough generation is available.

Outages due to storm damage also affect different customers in different ways. A downed power line might affect your home but again, not your neighbor.

Q: When will my power be restored?

For controlled outages: ERCOT has been unable to predict when more generation will be available and when there will be enough electric supply to meet customer demand. We are doing all we can to ensure Oncor will be prepared to safely deliver electricity to our customers as soon as ERCOT allows. 

For winter storm damage: Our crews and out of state mutual assistance contractors are now actively engaged in restoration efforts. Continued winter impacts such as extreme cold, treacherous road conditions and ice buildup may impact progress. However, these personnel are well experienced in working in extreme weather conditions and will be working around the clock to assess damages, clear debris and repair damaged equipment. Even then, power from ERCOT must be available for us to reenergize your home or business.

The bottom line: Because ERCOT cannot yet tell us when power will be available, we continue asking all Oncor customers to be prepared to be without power for an extended period of time. 

Q: When will power generation plants come back on-line?

Oncor does not own or operate generation facilities. The current cold weather has caused many of these generators to shut down and ERCOT has not told us when to expect them back on-line. We continue to strive toward providing any temporary relief that we can for those who have been without power the longest as soon as enough generation is available.

***

Headquartered in Dallas, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC is a regulated electricity distribution and transmission business that uses superior asset management skills to provide reliable electricity delivery to consumers. Oncor (together with its subsidiaries) operates the largest distribution and transmission system in Texas, delivering power to more than 3.7 million homes and businesses and operating more than 139,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines in Texas. While Oncor is owned by two investors (indirect majority owner, Sempra Energy, and minority owner, Texas Transmission Investment LLC), Oncor is managed by its Board of Directors, which is comprised of a majority of disinterested directors.

Commerce Methodist Church Operating as a Warming Center for Commerce Residents
Located at 1709 TX-24 S
Commerce Methodist Church
Due to recent power outages, the City’s ability to produce water is limited.
 
We are asking citizens to practice Emergency Water Conservation measures and only use water for drinking, cooking, and basic personal hygiene.
 

We will provide further updates as they become available.

water

Atmos Energy Fev 16th Press Release stresses an “Urgent Need to Conserve Energy.”

How you can help:
 
✔ lower your thermostast to 68 degrees
✔ minimize energy usage
✔ lower hot water heater to 120 degrees
✔ do NOT use stove or stove top to heat your
      home
✔ reduce shower time and avoid baths
✔ avoid using natural gas fireplaces
✔ do not use pool heaters

✔ refrain from using large appliances

Atmos energy press release
WATER SITUATION UPDATE
 
The City of Commerce Water Treatment plant was without power for almost two days. During this time, a critical pump within the treatment process was damaged from the cold. In spite of this, the City has been able to maintain system pressure until Tuesday evening. Crews were hopeful that system pressure loss could be avoided.
 
When a water system loses pressure, it creates the risk that contaminated water can back flow from a residence or commercial location. It is because of this risk that the boil water notice has been issued. At this time, we have no confirmed evidence of bad water. This is a precautionary measure to ensure public health.
 
Once full system pressure can be restored, the City will perform a full set of lab tests to confirm the safety of the water supply. Once the water quality is confirmed, the boil water notice will be lifted.
 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we make it through this historic winter weather event together.

Water Update
Conserve Energy During Cold Temperatures
Attention Commerce Residents:
 
A Press Release from Oncor & ERCOT
 
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), a governing body that oversees the electric grid for the State of Texas, is requesting all Texans limit and reduce their electric use as much as possible Sunday, February 14th through Tuesday, February 16th.
 
The State is currently experiencing record-breaking electric demand due to the extreme cold temperatures and higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units.
 
Please observe the following conservation steps:
 
   ✔ Turn thermostats down to 68 degrees.
   ✔ Close shades and blinds to reduce heat
         loss through windows.
   ✔ Turn off and unplug nonessential lights
         and appliances.
   ✔ Avoid using large appliances (ovens and
         washing machines)  
 
A winter storm warning is in effect for much of the Oncor service territory. Stay off roads as much as possible, check on your neighbors and report downed power lines.
 

For more information on energy conservation, visit thewire.oncor.com

ORDINANCE 2021 -04 | CITY OF COMMERCE, TEXAS MAYORAL DECLARATION OF LOCAL STATE OF DISASTER DUE TO SEVERE WINTER WEATHER | WHEREAS, severe winter weather was predicted to occur between February 13, 2021 and February 19, 2021, by the National Weather Service as a Winter Storm Warning for Hunt County, to include Commerce, and WHEREAS, temperatures are now well below freezing, with several inches of snow and ice accumulation, making road conditions extremely hazardous for the public, endangering the health, safety, and welfare of Commerce residents; and WHEREAS, the effects of the winter weather storm require assistance for stranded motorists, isolated citizens, medical emergencies, downed trees, road debris, and power outages, that may surpass the capabilities of the City of Commerce to respond to and recover from its effects, thus requiring state assistance, and WHEREAS, on February 12, 2021, Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, declared a State of Disaster in all 254 counties, to include Hunt County and the City of Commerce, Texas; | NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED BY THE MAYOR OF COMMERCE: By virtue of the authority vested in me by the City Charter, as the presiding officer of the governing body and under Texas Government Code, Section 418.08, I hereby declare a local state of disaster within the City of Commerce. Pursuant to $418. 108(b) of the Texas Government Code, the state of disaster shall continue for a period of not more than seven days from the date of this declaration unless continued or renewed by the Commerce City Council. Pursuant to $418.108( c) of the Texas Government Code, this declaration of a local state of disaster shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed promptly with the City Secretary. Pursuant to $418.108( d) of the Texas Government Code, this declaration of a local state of disaster activates all other Charter, statutory, and ordinance powers vested in me and all officers of the City of Commerce to act in this local state of disaster. This declaration activates the recovery and rehabilitation aspects of all applicable local or inter-jurisdictional emergency management plans and authorizes the furnishing of all aid and assistance as deemed necessary or desirable by those administering such plans. Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 122.006, the City may adopt rules, including quarantine rules, to protect the health of persons in the City, and provide for the establishment of quarantine stations, emergency hospitals, and other hospitals. DECLARED this 16th day of February 2021. Mayor, City of Commerce