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LIVE UPDATES: Groves joins Beaumont, Port Arthur in lifting boil water notices; continuous flaring anticipated as ExxonMobil resumes operations

As a slow warm-up trend begins, the 12News StormTrackers are putting Southeast Texas first with live updates.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Get the latest updates and information right here following a brutal Arctic freeze that brought ice, sleet, snow and single-digit low temperatures to Southeast Texas.

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Southeast Texas school closures

Many schools are either closed Friday or moving students to virtual learning. You'll find a separate list of business closures here

Southeast Texas road closures

Local and state officials have advised Texans to stay off the road as much as possible.

Winter Storm Top Headlines

Monday updates

Feb. 22, 2:30 p.m. — The City of Groves has received an all clear from TCEQ, and the boil water notice has officially been lifted. The water is now safe to drink in Groves, the Groves Fire Department said.  

Feb. 22, 9 a.m. — As ExxonMobil in Beaumont restarts its operations following last week's freeze the company anticipates "continuous flaring, which may result in a low rumbling noise, as well as smoke" the company said in a Sunday evening tweet

The company explained in the tweet that "flares are safety devices that are intended to burn off excess hydrocarbons and are functioning as intended."

They also emphasized their primary focus is safety and apologized for the disruption and inconvenience of the flaring.

Feb. 22, 8:15 a.m. — Free bottled water will be distributed while supplies last Monday, Feb 22, from 9 a.m. through noon at the Salvation Army in Orange at 1950 MLK Drive in partnership with the Southeast Texas Food Bank and Orange County Disaster Rebuild. Please bring an ID.

Sunday updates

Feb. 21, 8:45 p.m. — CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System will continue to postpone elective surgeries and procedures Monday, Feb. 22. The exception will be several urgent cases at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Jasper Memorial. The full surgery schedule is expected to resume on Tuesday.

If there are any changes to the restoration of elective surgeries, CHRISTUS staff will issue an update.

Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. — The City of Beaumont lifted its boil water notice effective immediately, Mayor Becky said. Check the City of Beaumont website and social media for tips on what to do after a boil water notice has been lifted. Please continue to report leaks to Beaumont 311.

Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m. — CORRECTION: The City of Groves is still under a boil water notice. Continue to boil your water before drinking. The water plant is testing the water, but we have not been cleared by TCEQ.

Feb. 21, 5 p.m. — The City of Port Arthur lifted its boil water notice.

Feb. 21, 3 p.m.  — The boil water notice for the City of Kountze has been lifted.

Feb. 21, 12:30 p.m. — The City of Nederland and West Jefferson County Municipal Water District lifted their boil water notices

Feb. 21, 10:45 a.m.  — Orange County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 lifted their boil water notice after providing TCEQ with test results that indicate the water no longer needs to be boiled. Anyone with questions should contact (409) 769-2669.

LIST: Orange County District Water Control No. 1, Port Neches lift boil water notice, most Southeast Texas cities still need to boil water

Feb. 21, 8:30 a.m.  — The City of Groves will be distributing a limited amount of bottled water for residents at 2 p.m. at the back of the Fire Station, with a limit of one per household. You must have a water bill in order to prove residency. A drive thru will be set up behind the station.

Saturday updates

Feb. 20, 3:30 p.m.  — The Texas Attorney General's Office releases statement on winter storm price gouging and scams.

Price gouging and scams will continue to emerge from this winter storm state emergency, the release said. The Texas Attorney General’s website has details on identifying emergency related scams, such as fake home repair contractors and fake charities, and price gouging on essential goods and services. Texans can report suspicious activity to the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 621-0508. You may also file complaints online.

Feb. 20, 2:30 p.m.  — City of Port Arthur lifts boil water notice for some areas in the city.

Feb. 20, 10:30 a.m.  — The City of Groves is still under a Boil Water Notice, so boil your water before drinking. The city says you can now wash clothes and use dishwashers. 

Feb. 20, 10:30 a.m.  — Nederland Water System is making solid progress, but is  still asking customers to boil and conserve water for essential use only. If you have a leak or spot a leak in town, call (409) 723-1540 immediately.

Feb. 20, 10 a.m.  — The City of Port Arthur is telling its resident to get their trash ready for pickup. From today through Monday, Feb. 22, residential and commercial garbage pick up will be happen roadside at 7 a.m. or earlier.

Feb. 20, 9:30 a.m.  President Biden approved the state’s request for a major disaster declaration. That makes federal funding available for people affected by the storm in counties across Texas including Jefferson, Hardin, Orange, Chambers, Jasper and Liberty counties.

You can begin applying for help online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY.

Friday updates

Feb. 19, 4:30 p.m.  — Beaumont ISD extended virtual learning across the school district until March 1 after damages to 24 campuses and other facilities due to broken pipes from winter weather and some buildings without heat. 

All local Beaumont ISD activities scheduled through Friday, Feb. 26 are canceled or postponed. 

"As the community continues to heal from this unexpected event, please take care of your families and your needs," the district said in a statement. "Flexibility will be provided as it relates to assignment deadlines and the ability to connect virtually for all students. Please reach out to your child’s teacher if arrangements need to be made regarding classwork completion.  

LIST: Southeast Texas school districts closing, delaying classes following winter storm

Feb. 19, 3:45 p.m.  — More than 14 million Texans do not have access to clean water after 1,000 water systems in Texas were affected, TCEQ said in a Friday afternoon press conference. Boil water advisories remain in effect for many parts of the Lone Star State.

Feb. 19, 2 p.m.  — The Golden Pass LNG is handing out cases of water to Port Arthur residents until supplies are gone at the Sabine Pass Fire Station 5036 South Gulfway Drive in Port Arthur. The distribution process will be contactless and distributed via drive-through.

Feb. 19, 12:30 p.m.  — The City of Beaumont released a water update for residents, explaining the steps officials are taking in order to lift the boil water notice. 

Along with sufficient water pressure citywide, water must be back in its elevated storage tanks throughout the city. These tanks are essential for maintaining water pressure and buffering for any variation in pumping volumes out of the production plants.

City officials must flush and disinfect the entire system. This will require the flushing and measuring of chlorine residuals to ensure the appropriate levels.

Officials will then collect bacteriological samples throughout our system and test for coliform, which will take 24 hours to determine a negative or positive result from collected samples. Any positives will require flushing and then re-sampling and testing.

When the above is accomplished, the City be able to lift the boil water notice.

Feb. 19, 10 a.m.  — The Groves Water Plant was able to continue their steady progress overnight. The boil water notice is still in effect.  Report any breaks to the city at (409) 960-5718. Residents are recommended to hold off from washing clothes until further notice. City officials need 24 hours of this progress to stabilized the system more.

Feb. 19, 9:30 a.m. — Motiva Enterprise will be handing out more than 800 cases of bottled water to Port Arthur residents at a contactless drive-thru event Thursday, February 19, 2021, at 12 p.m. at the Port Arthur Downtown Pavilion at 600 Procter Street.

Thursday updates

Feb. 18, 8 p.m. — The doors of the Victory Temple on 11th Street remain open for people needing shelter through Saturday. Volunteers are providing three meals a day and a shower to anyone who needs one.

Feb. 18, 3 p.m. — Fewer than a 400,000 homes remained without electricity across Texas, although utility officials said limited rolling blackouts could still occur, according to the Associated Press.

Feb. 18, 1:40 p.m. —  The Symphony of Southeast Texas has postponed it's concert this weekend due to the weather.

The Classic Series III concert, American Musical Soundscapes has been rescheduled for March 13, 2021 according to a news release from the symphony.

The majority of the symphony's musicians of live in the Houston area and are experiencing issues with power, water and transportation the release said.

Feb. 18, 11:20 a.m. — Entergy reports that they expect to have all of their remaining Texas service area customers' power restored by the end the day on Thursday.

At 9 a.m. Thursday a total of 11,713 customers remained without power as opposed to 19,831 at 8 p.m. Wednesday according to a news release from the company.

Entergy's Texas service area extends to counties north of Houston including Montgomery County where the bulk of the outages have been.

In Southeast Texas at 11 a.m. 942 customers remained without power according tot he company's outage site online.

Entergy has been experiencing delays on updating the site so there could be les outages remaining in Southeast Texas where the bulk of the outage was in Liberty Country with 906 remaining outages.

Entergy is still working with MISO to monitor the grid and power demand as condition improve Thursday the company said.

The company still requests that users work to conserve as much power as they can since the cold will remain through the weekend the release said.

Feb. 18, 11:10 a.m. —  Both the Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Rainbow Bridge are open after TxDOT crews cleared the remaining ice and snow from the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Feb. 18, 10:30 a.m. —   While the Cities of Port Neches, Nederland and Groves made progress overnight in restoring their water systems officials are still asking customers to continue efforts to conserve water as much as possible. Do NOT drip faucets and report any water leaks.

To report leaks Port Neches residents should call 722-4024 or 719-4216 while Nederland residents should call 723-1541 or 723-1540. Groves residents should call 960-5704 or 960-5718 to report leaks.

Feb. 18, 9:55 a.m. —   TxDOT crews are on the Veterans Memorial Bridge removing ice and snow. The northbound Texas 73 bridge remains closed.

Feb. 18, 8:45 a.m. —  Lamar University has placed portable bathrooms outside its dorms and is providing bottled water to students on campus due to low water pressure in the city.

Feb. 18, 8:30 a.m. — In Beaumont the Maury-Meyers Bridge as well as the Lindbergh and Dowlen Road Overpasses remain closed due to icy conditions.

Feb. 18, 8 a.m. —  Non-essential city facilities remain closed Thursday through 6 p.m. due to low water pressure. The Beaumont landfill will be open

Trash pickup in Beaumont resumes today with Monday's pickup rescheduled from now throughout the weekend to get back on the normal weekly schedule next week.

Beaumont city buses will resume service at 10 a.m. today.

Those scheduled for COVID-19 vaccines should monitor their phone and email for scheduling adjustments.

Feb. 18, 7:30 a.m. —  For the most part, the coldest weather and wintry weather has passed and now, a slow warm up is on the way. A winter weather advisory in Southeast Texas expires at noon today. READ MORE

Feb. 18, 6:40 a.m. —  The outage map on Entergy Texas' website is showing 1,090 customers without power across Hardin, Liberty, Orange and Tyler counties. Jefferson County now shows no outages and Orange County only shows two while the majority of 838 are in Liberty County. About 159 outages are reported in Tyler County.

Feb. 18, 6 a.m. —   TxDOT reports that along Texas 73 between Bridge City and Port Arthur the southbound Rainbow Bridge has reopened while the northbound Veterans Memorial Bridge remains closed.

Feb. 18, 12:39 a.m. —  The outage map on Entergy Texas' website is showing 934 customers without power across Hardin, Jefferson, Liberty, Orange and Tyler counties. The vast majority of those -- 849 -- are in Liberty County.

Wednesday updates

Feb. 17, 10 p.m. — The outage map on Entergy Texas' website is showing 1,100 customers without power across Hardin, Jefferson, Liberty, Orange and Tyler Counties. At 6 p.m., 2,426 customers in the same five counties had no power, a dramatic decrease from 4 p.m. when 7,745 customers had outages. 

Feb. 17, 9 p.m. — JNEC has restored more than 2,200 meters that were affected by today’s winter storm. Crews continue to encounter fallen trees, tree limbs, down power lines and other obstacles while working in freezing conditions to restore the remaining 3,300 power outages.  

Feb. 17, 6 p.m. — The outage map on Entergy Texas' website is showing 2,426 customers without power across Hardin, Jefferson, Liberty, Orange and Tyler Counties. At 5 p.m., 3,203 customers in the same five counties had no power, a dramatic decrease from 4 p.m. when 7,745 customers had outages. 

Feb. 17, 5 p.m. — City of Port Neches employees are working to restore water pressure throughout the distribution system. Water towers continue to be filled and some hydrants will be opened to release air. Once levels rise, samples will be sent to TCEQ to be tested to remove the boil water notice.

Feb. 17, 4:30 p.m. — Groves Water Plant is making slow but steady progress. Please continue to conserve water, and do not drip pipe. Report any broken lines or water line problems to city at (409) 960-5718 or (409) 960-5704.

Feb. 17, 4:25 p.m. — The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reports 7,000,000 Texans are now having to boil water because of power outage issues across the state.

Feb. 17, 4:10 p.m. — The City of Beaumont releases winter weather update as water systems continue impacting the city.

  • All non-essential Beaumont facilities, except the Landfill, will remain closed until 6:00 p.m. Thursday. A determination and notifications will be made Thursday regarding opening City offices Friday.
  • If you were scheduled to receive a vaccination, monitor your email and phone for scheduling adjustments, city officials say.
  • Monday's normal pickup will be rescheduled for Thursday and so on through the weekend to get Beaumont back on the normal weekly schedule.
  • Beaumont Transit service will resume to its normal schedule on Thursday at 10:00 A.M.

Feb. 17, 4 p.m. — Entergy Texas said winter weather and ice are causing additional outages. Crews are working on restoring power when it is safe, but are working in freezing rain and dangerous driving conditions. 

As of 3 p.m., there are approximately 33,657 customers without power. Entergy Texas said the company's generation units remain stable and online. Entergy Texas, working with MISO, will continue to monitor the situation, as weather conditions will still pose challenges in the coming days.

Entergy spokesperson Allison Payne asked that customers still try to conserve as much electricity as possible since winter temperatures are expected to continue until the end of the week. 

Feb. 17, 2:50 p.m. — Jasper Newton Electric Cooperative JNEC says they have about 5,286 meters without power.

Feb. 17, 12 p.m. — The Beaumont Water System is pumping higher amounts of water than normal but continues to have lower pressure. There is a Boil Water notice in place, city officials said. Please use conservation measures, turn off dripping faucets and report leaks to 311. 

Feb. 17, 10:45 a.m. — US 96 overpass at FM 105 in Evadale closed again due to ice. Please do not cross barricades on the road, TxDOT said. Travel is still discouraged due to icy conditions across Southeast Texas. 

Feb. 17, 10:30 a.m. — About 1,100 people without power with Jasper Newton Electric Cooperative JNEC, with about 700 in Jasper County and 300 in Newton County. These numbers are NOT due to rolling outages. 

Feb. 17, 10 a.m. — Beaumont 311 is working, but the call load right now is very heavy, city officials said. The number is also (409) 980-8311.

Feb. 17, 9:30 a.m. — These communities in Southeast Texas have known boil water notices:

  • Anahuac
  • Beaumont
  • Groves
  • Jefferson County WCID 10
  • Kountze
  • Mauriceville Municipal Utility District
  • Nederland
  • Port Arthur
  • Port Neches
  • Trinity Bay
  • West Orange

Feb. 17, 9 a.m. — 12News meteorologist Jeff Gerber says you can stop dripping those faucets for now. It shouldn't be needed until possibly Thursday night into Friday morning when we may experience another hard freeze. Some cities would prefer you not drip at all.

Feb. 17, 8:40 a.m. — The City of Port Neches water system was unable to make progress overnight, officials said in an update. Water pressure remains low. All customers need to turn off dripping faucets and reduce water consumption. Report any water leaks to (409) 719-4281 or (409) 719-4216 so city crews can shut off until leak is repaired.

Feb. 17, 8 a.m. — The City of Port Arthur has issued a boil water notice for its residents effective Wednesday morning due to " extreme weather conditions associated with the current winter storm and multiple water main leaks."

The city also noted that the system MAY need to be shut down completely to make some repairs.

Feb. 17, 7 a.m. — Current outages around Southeast Texas are at 5,748 which is down 85 from earlier today at about 4:40 a.m.

Here's a look at Entergy outages by county now... 

  • Hardin — 21
  • Jefferson — 2,125
  • Liberty — 3,302
  • Orange — 299
  • Tyler — 1

Feb. 17, 4:40 a.m. — By 10 p.m. Tuesday, Entergy announced rolling blackouts had ended "for now" across Southeast Texas. Here's a look at Entergy outages by county now...

  • Hardin — 139
  • Jefferson — 2,119
  • Liberty — 3,302
  • Orange — 272
  • Tyler — 1

Tuesday updates

Feb. 16, 9:55 p.m. — Entergy has ended power outages across Southeast Texas 'for now' and says they will return their system to normal operations.

"All customers affected by this directive are either restored or in the process of being restored. Thank you for your patience and your voluntary conservation of power as we work through this difficult situation," the release said in part.  

Feb. 16, 8 p.m. — Power outages in Jefferson County spiked to more than 36,000 customers Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. after rolling outages were canceled earlier Tuesday afternoon. Just over 27,000 people in the Golden Triangle area were without power at 3 p.m.

READ MORE | Entergy outages spike again Tuesday night after rolling blackouts canceled, more outages possible due to next winter storm

Feb. 16, 7 p.m. — Orange County Public Health must reschedule the Feb. 17 COVID-19 vaccination clinic to Feb. 21 due to the winter weather event. Those people scheduled for the second shot are still within their time period. Please report to the Orange County Expo, 11475 FM 1442 in Orange at the same time you were scheduled for. 

Feb. 16, 7 p.m. —  The City of Beaumont issued a boil water notice due to low water pressure caused by water line breaks from severe winter weather and freezing temperatures at the direction of The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 

READ MORE | Beaumont officials urge residents to conserve water after water line breaks reported

Feb. 16, 4:30 p.m. —  Orange County Water Control & Improvement District No. 1 Water System is shutting down due to the freezing weather and the high volume of leaks that have occurred.

The district is NOT shutting the water off, the system is going down on its own due to water loss from leaks. The district is diligently working to get the system back online. 

"We are urging everyone that has encountered leaks and or broken pipes to either repair their pipes or shut their water off. Doing so will greatly help with keeping the Water System on line," the release said.

Feb. 16, 4 p.m. — CenterPoint Energy releases statement: “Due to the continued issues with power generators’ ability to produce electricity, CenterPoint Energy’s customers need to be prepared to be without power, potentially for the duration of the generation shortage event, which could last several more days,” a CenterPoint Energy news release said in part.

Feb. 16, 3:40 p.m. — City of Nederland issues boil water notice due to a loss of system pressure as a result of extensive water line breaks. 

Feb. 16, 3 p.m. — Entergy’s reliability coordinator, MISO, cancels its order for power outages in the Entergy Texas region. Shortly, after this, Entergy Texas began restoring customers who were affected by these outages back to service. 

However, winter weather in the forecast could cause additional outages over the next few days. The company is continuing to work to add customers back, but is facing challenges restoring power quickly due to the difficulty of adding customers back during cold weather. 

Feb. 16, 1:45 p.m. — Beaumont Police said traffic is picking up in residential areas and asked residents to drive at slow speeds if they have to leave their homes. 

Feb. 16, 12:30 p.m. — Orange County Offices will remain closed Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

Feb. 16, 11:00 a.m. — Beaumont Police are reporting that 18-wheelers are getting stuck on Interstate 10 overpasses near MLK Parkway and 11th Street. Drivers in the area should use caution.

Feb. 16, 9:45 a.m. — Jefferson County officials are asking residents to stay off of icy roadways unless absolutely necessary. 

"There are two 18-wheeler accidents in Chambers and Orange Counties," Jefferson County Tax assessor-collector Allison Getz said. "People should stay home if possible."

Feb. 16, 9 a.m. — Water pressure is low in Beaumont due to cold weather impacting service pumps and equipment, the city said in a statement. 

"We are requesting all water customers conserve water while city crews work to restore full water pressure," Beaumont Police Officer Carol Riley said. 

Feb. 16, 7 a.m. — Entergy began rolling blackouts early Tuesday morning leaving more than 47,000 Southeast Texans without power following a night of below freezing temperatures. READ MORE

Feb. 16, 12:30 a.m. —  TxDOT reports long wait times coming into Texas on I-10 from Louisiana. Conditions are still icy along roadways throughout all of Southeast Texas, and traffic is moving extremely slow. A crew is on the way to treat I-10 westbound again at the state line. Travel is highly discouraged. 

Feb. 16, 12 a.m. — Exxon Mobil says it's in the process of safely shutting down its Beaumont-area facilities. "As a result of this shutdown, we anticipate continuous flaring, which may result in a low rumbling noise as well as smoke," the company said in part.

Monday updates

Feb. 15, 11 p.m. — H-E-B to reduce hours of store operations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Feb. 15, 10 p.m. — Chambers County to open a warming center for residents who have lost power. The warming center will be at McLeod park community building, located at 10717 Langston Drive in Mont Belvieu. It will open at noon on Tuesday and closed at 5:30 p.m.

Officials say only 120 people will be allowed to enter due to COVID-19 restrictions. Transportation will not be provided.

Feb. 15, 8:20 p.m. — An 18-wheeler that jackknifed on I-10 eastbound at Simmons Drive causes all lanes to closed. Icy conditions are still present and travel is discouraged. 

Feb. 15, 6:45 p.m. — TxDOT Beaumont says there are reports of a jackknifed 18-wheeler on I-10 near the state line. Icy conditions are making travel treacherous. 

Feb. 15, 4 p.m. — Motiva Port Arthur Refinery shuts down amid 'unprecedented' freezing temperatures. 

Feb. 15, 2:30 p.m. — Most school districts transition to remote learning Wednesday, including Beaumont ISD. 

Feb. 15, 2:16 p.m. —  Houston Methodist reported that due to the freezing temperatures Harris County lost power to one of its freezers storing 1,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The hospital said they had act quickly and were able to vaccinate 1,000 people in less than three hours.

“We didn’t waste a drop. It was great for our community that we were able to quickly administer these much needed vaccines in the middle of the storm,” said Roberta Schwartz, executive VP, Houston Methodist Hospital.

Feb. 15, 1:13 p.m. — Bush Intercontinental Airport is expected to remain closed through 1 p.m., Tuesday, according to Houston Airport System. Hobby Airport will remain closed until noon Tuesday. 

Feb. 15, 6:50 a.m. — Both of Houston's major airports are now closed to air traffic. An important update from Bush Airport: "Due to accumulation of ice the airfield closed until further notice. Our crews worked all through the night to de-ice our runways, but the temps got too low. Treatment of the airfield will continue throughout the day." Hobby Airport closed earlier in the morning.

Feb. 15, 5:45 a.m. — The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge on SH82 has been deemed unsafe for travel due to ice accumulation and is now closed.

Feb. 15, 4:45 a.m. — I-10 west is now CLOSED between Baton Rouge and Lafayette due to winter weather and freezing conditions. 

Feb. 15, 4:30 a.m. —  Flashes of lightning and thunder sleet rattles Southeast Texas Monday morning.