Ovilla Was Prepared For Historic Winter Storm
OVILLA – The City of Ovilla’s City Manager Pam Woodall said “I am happy to report that because our departments were pro-active, meaning Fire Chief Brandon Kennedy had a plan in place before the freeze impact, we faired as good, or better than expected, even with the reactive emergencies.”
The city was able to maintain safe water levels thanks to the public works employees. Woodall said they worked 24-hours a day manually monitoring the water systems program.
“Public Works also monitored the conditions of the roads with sanding treatment as well,” she added.
Ovilla’s Grace Church of Ovilla did not suffer any power outages and opened its doors to residents.
During the worst of the storm Chief Kennedy worked with the Church to establish a warming shelter that was opened and operational which also provided meals by late last Monday evening, February 15. Then, beginning Tuesday morning, the city began “Operation Door Knock.”
Operation Door Knock
“On that one day, volunteers from Grace Church and our Fire Department covered at least 50 percent of the city to check on those without power or experiencing water issues, and having those necessary departments responding to those needs,” Woodall explained. “It was an amazing team effort of Public Works, Police and Fire Departments, and Grace Church.”
The city also maintained minimal office staff to manage financial needs and to assist in the coordination of meals for the departments.
There were additional multiple messages put out via email and posted on Ovilla Police and Fire FB, the city’s website to keep residents updated. CTY telephone calls were also issued to Ovilla residents in an effort to keep them informed of the weather and the warming shelter.
“What is also amazing is that our police, fire and public works employees were all dealing with similar issues with their own families and homes, yet still reported to Ovilla to help our residents. Police and Fire continued responding to all calls, and made checks on our residents, even though their risk management software was not operational due to the power outage,” Woodall added.
First Responders & Grace Church Helped Residents
Woodall said “We cannot thank Grace Church enough, they not only opened their doors to those in need during this pandemic, they fed our departments these first few days. We are grateful for everyone involved and grateful that Grace Church did not lose power”
Ovilla Mayor Richard Dormier said too he couldn’t say enough good things about the city’s first responders.
“Putting together an action plan days before the storm occurred was critical to the success of our efforts to maintain City services for our citizens,” Dormier concluded. “This effort was headed up by our fire chief, but everyone in police, fire, and public works worked together as a team responding to calls from our citizens.”
By last Thursday at around 1:30 pm, most Ovilla residents had their power restored.