San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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February 3rd, 2011
City phones, computers down briefly Wednesday

SUBMITTED REPORT

The city of San Marcos restored communications service in most city facilities after an outage Wednesday shut down city phones, email, the website and computers for about two hours after rolling power blackouts interrupted electric service.

The San Marcos Police Department and 911 emergency services were not affected by the outage. Residents could not reach many other city offices and facilities.

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, ended rolling blackouts by mid-day Wednesday, but more blackouts may be ordered if power demands across the state exceed supply, said Tom Taggart, Public Services Director.

City officials cautioned that more blackouts could continue during the current winter storm conditions. Residents are urged to conserve electricity as much as possible and to prepare for continuing frigid temperatures. Residents are also reminded to protect exposed pipes in unheated areas.

The city will close the Activity Center and the Library Wednesday at 6 p.m. to save power and will open the Activity Center at 8 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. on Thursday. Other city offices will open at normal work hours Thursday.

The city’s telephone and computer systems were down intermittently between noon and 2:15 p.m. Wednesday following statewide rolling blackouts that disrupted electric service across Texas. A transfer switch from battery backup of the systems blew out as the systems were being transferred to normal power.

San Marcos electric utility crews will continue 24-hour duty for the next two days, said Taggart. Residents with emergency power issues may call 393-8313 for assistance.

The city was also working to restore traffic signals at Highway 80 and I-35 that were disrupted by the blackouts Wednesday.

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