Thaw underway

After a week of ice, snow and temperatures below freezing — and even below zero — Hunt County and North Texas are expected to warm up and thaw out rapidly during the next few days.

After a week of ice, snow and temperatures below freezing — and even below zero — Hunt County and North Texas are expected to warm up and thaw out rapidly during the next few days.

Offices and businesses which have had to put their operations on hold due to frozen streets, rolling blackouts and low to no water pressure should be reopening as usual Monday, although a boil water notice will remain in place for Greenville residents.

The National Weather Service was reporting that after finally rising above the freezing mark Friday afternoon, there would be a chance of patchy freezing fog across the area this morning, with a high near 42.

Highs are forecast to reach the 50s Sunday and into the 60s by Tuesday, which will feel positively balmy compared to the -3 degrees which was reported at Majors Field airport in Greenville Tuesday morning, the coldest temperature reported locally in decades.

The Greenville ISD and several other nearby school districts, which closed their doors for the past week, will begin to resume both on campus and virtual learning classes,while Hunt County offices will resume operations Monday, although the courthouse will remain closed to the public except by appointment due to the COVID-19 situation

The City of Greenville issued a notice Friday morning, indicating the extension of the boil water advisory was needed due to the continued low water pressure of the city water system, which has caused issues with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

“Due to past rolling power outages the system was compromised and did not meet the quality of water that TCEQ requires,” according to the city’s statement. “To ensure the destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.”

The advisory is also in effect for any utilities, such as the Shady Grove Water Supply Corporation, which obtain their water supplies from the City of Greenville.

Residents in the area who had been dealing with off and on power outages during the storm, as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) called for rolling blackouts, unable to keep up with the unprecedented demand for electricity, will be pleased to know that as of Friday morning, the agency reported the need for rotating outages across Texas had ended and the electrical grid was back to normal.

Still, Governor Greg Abbott declared the reform of ERCOT an emergency item this legislative session, calling on the legislature to investigate ERCOT.

Still to be determined in the coming days and weeks is the resulting damage from the storm, including water pipes which may yet burst as the ground shifts due to the warming, as well as the impact the multiple freezes and thaws during the past week have left on area roadways.

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