After more than a week of subzero temperatures, the city of Marshall has been dealing with water concerns, impassable roads and emergencies.
“As temperatures begin to rise, icicles and rooftop snow are the latest danger facing the public during this unprecedented winter storm. Freezing temperatures have led to the build-up of ice and snow on homes, carports, buildings and cell phone towers,” the city released in a statement. “We have seen social media posts of collapsed buildings, carports, and businesses today due to the tremendous weight of the snow and ice. Continued cold temperatures with period of slight warming have created icicles that become larger and more dangerous to those who pass below them. Please be vigilant of this threat for your safety.”
The city dealt with water concerns beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 17 when citizens were urged to conserve water and to drip their faucets to prevent broken and frozen pipes.
Late Wednesday, the city informed citizens that due to excessive demand, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required the city’s water customers to boil their water prior to consumption. The boil notice is still in effect and will continue. The city will notify customers when it is safe to discontinue the boil notice.
Public Works crews will be working continuously on Saturday, Feb. 20 and Sunday, Feb. 21 to diagnose and repair service line breaks. While there are breaks, the pressure problems are primarily attributed to the tremendous demand for water.
The city would like to remind all citizens to please conserve water, avoid any activities that require large quantities of water, and boil water vigorously for two minutes before consumption.
Road conditions throughout the week have been impacted by the weather leading to Interstate 20 being shutdown Friday at the Louisiana border.
“Road conditions are improving; however, the roads are still icy and will worsen tonight as the sun goes down and the temperatures fall below freezing. The Marshall Police Department asks that people stay off the roadways as much as possible. The Police Department has received an increase in call load. Many of the calls are due to stranded motorists. To assist those in emergency situations, we ask citizens to refrain from calling 911 for non-emergency situations,” Marshall Police Department Chief Cliff Carruth said.
Refuse collection is another problem the city is having to deal with and ultimately led to trash collection being postponed for the week due to unsafe roads and residential street conditions.
“Please understand that getting further behind is not what we want at all but will make every effort to get caught up and remove the waste off the curb and into the landfill as quick as possible. Therefore, our optimistic goal is to begin regularly scheduled trash only routes Monday and all curbside recycle and bulk pick up will be suspended until the following week. This plan allows us to utilize the extra labor and trucks to remove the excess volume of trash from the curb quicker and not run out of hours allowed by law. Thank you to our citizens for your understanding in this unprecedented weather issue,” Republic Waste Services released in a statement on social media.
Emergency services throughout the county and even in nearby Marion County dealt with a rise in calls to 911. On Feb. 17 at about 2:30 p.m., 911 received a call about a subject that had fallen into a pond on Berea 3. Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Parks and Wildlife Officers and Christus EMS responded to the call and after arriving on scene they found the juvenile already moved inside the residence with his mother, being warmed.
The juvenile was rescued from the pond by his neighbor and warmed and treated by EMS.
“The quick thinking of the caller and the actions of the neighbor helped save the juvenile from further harm,” the Marion County Sheriff’s Office stated.
To aid in preventing hypothermia, on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m., the city opened a warming shelter in the community room at Fire Station No. 1. Though the city is still compiling a total number for those who utilized the shelter, on Feb. 17, three individuals used the facility and the fire department also brought in an elderly couple who were without power in the early morning hours.
“We want to thank our community members who volunteered and provided hot meals for those at the shelter,” City Communications Coordinator Stormy Nickerson said.