Planning for Winter Storms (Source: Facility Executive)
By Kyle LeBlanc, P.E.
In February 2021, a winter storm had widespread and devastating impacts across the United States. Extended durations of unusually low temperatures and accompanying ice storms created blackouts nationwide and wreaked havoc in several states, especially in Texas. The resulting power crisis in that state led to loss of life, and shortages of water, food, and heat. Heat loss caused pipes to freeze and burst in homes, businesses, public buildings, and educational facilities, creating further collateral damage to interior spaces.
The Alamo Colleges District, which serves the Greater San Antonio metropolitan area, was one of the educational facilities that felt the brunt of the storm. The Alamo Colleges, which comprises five main colleges and slightly more than five million square feet of facilities, sustained upwards of $2.4 million in damages.