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Winter storm aftermath: Fund set up to help family of 3 children who died in Sugar Land fire | Updates

The children and their grandmother were killed when their home went up in flames during a power outage.
Credit: Family photo
Siblings 11-year-old Olivia, 8-year-old Edison and 5-year-old Colette, died in a Sugar Land house fire. Their grandmother also died.

HOUSTON — Another hard freeze came to the Houston area overnight and will last through the early-morning hours, but there is continuing good news about the electricity in our region.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, there were 6,636 CenterPoint customers in the Houston area still without power. That's a much smaller number than the days prior, although these poor residents had to deal with the bitter cold overnight.

Winter Storm Resources

Winter Storm Relief

Friday updates

6:55 p.m. - Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation announced a commitment of up to $1 million in cash and in-kind product donations to help with response efforts in Texas and other states impacted by this week's winter storm. 

Funds will also be used to support Feeding Texas’ emergency response efforts in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, the Rio Grande Valley and other areas across the state.

6:16 p.m. - Precinct 2 will be hosting a pair of drive-through food giveaways on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s event begins at 10 a.m. and will be held at Grayson Community Center (13828 Corpus Christi St., Houston, TX 77015). Sunday’s food distribution will be held at 10 a.m. at Leonel Castillo Community Center (2101 South St., Houston, TX 77009).

People are asked to stay in their vehicles during the distribution, and Precinct 2 Staff/Volunteers will place food in recipients’ trunks.

5:35 p.m. - Mattress Mack and Gallery Furniture delivered 500 dinners to the Harris County Sheriff's Department and Jail in partnership with World Central Kitchen and Churrascos. They've delivered 1,500 total meals.

5:15 p.m. Due to the continued impact that our community has endured, HISD schools and offices will remain closed through Tuesday, February 23. There will be no virtual or in-person learning on Monday or Tuesday, and employees will not report to work unless notified by their supervisor. Students will transition to asynchronous virtual learning on Wednesday, February 24 through Friday, February 26. Latest school, university closing updates here.

5:05 p.m. A fund has been set up for the family of three children who died in a Sugar Land fire earlier this week. The children and their grandmother were killed when their home went up in flames during a power outage. 

The victims were identified as 11-year-old Olivia, 8-year-old Edison and 5-year-old Colette. 

A gofundme.com account has been set up to help the family. The children's mother, Jackie, posted the following message on the page:

"Thank you all for your outpouring of love and support. We really appreciate everyone’s kindness and willingness to help at this time. There isn’t much we need at the moment but we recognize that we are overwhelmed right now. When the dust settles, we will need you. So, thank you in advance."

Credit: Family photo
Siblings 11-year-old Olivia, 8-year-old Edison and 5-year-old Colette, died in a Sugar Land house fire. Their grandmother also died.

3:33 p.m. - Governor Greg Abbott has issued waivers suspending certain regulations to help facilitate the preparation and delivery of food for Texans in the aftermath of power and water outages caused by the severe winter weather. Under these waivers, individuals and groups will be allowed to use unlicensed kitchens to prepare meals to donate to Texans so long as they follow the Department of State Health Services’ guidance on food safety.

Abbott has also waived certain regulations related to the intake and transfer of Texans in assisted living facilities, nursing facilities, and other long-term care facilities

3:25 p.m. - Gov. Abbott said there are no longer any residential power outages due to lack of power generation. He said about 165,000 Texas households are still without power because of either downed power lines or they're waiting for power companies to manually reconnect them.

3:15 p.m. In a news conference, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said President Biden has agreed to approve the Texas Disaster Declaration. When it's official, Texans will be able to apply for FEMA benefits.

3:10 p.m. - The Rockets vs. Pacers game scheduled at Toyota Center Saturday, Feb. 20, has been postponed due to utility shortages and other issues in the area caused by inclement weather this week. Information regarding the rescheduled date of the game will be made available at a later time. Ticket holders for Saturday’s game will be contacted directly regarding their options.

2:45 p.m. - The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is hosting a Food Fair Saturday, February 20, from 8:00-10:00 a.m. at the Vincentian Service Center on 6654 Gulf Freeway.  The distribution will be a drive-through service and everyone is asked to stay in their vehicles. Volunteers will then place a pre-packed box of food in their trunk. For people wanting to help their community through our programs, they can donate to the Society's emergency fund online here.

2:29 p.m. - Harris County Juge Lina Hidalgo tweeted there are now 10 hypothermia deaths in Harris County and more than 600 carbon monoxide cases, and still counting. 

12:45 p.m. - Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received federal approval to allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to apply for replacement benefits for food lost or destroyed due to the severe winter weather by dialing 2-1-1.

12:10 p.m. - There is a new list of water bottled distribution sites for the Houston and Galveston areas today. Full list here

11:29 a.m. - When asked if he has any plans to visit Texas, President Biden said:

“The answer is yes. The question is I had planned on visiting Texas in the middle of next week but I don’t want to be a burden. When the president lands in a city in America it has a long tail.” Click here to read more.

11:15 a.m. - CenterPoint said over 99 percent of their system has been restored. 

11:00 a.m. - Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city has received roughly 4,900 calls for pipes bursting in homes. 

10:38 a..m. - During a media briefing, ERCOT officials said they are completely out of emergency operations. 

In response to the blackouts, the company said they "really didn’t have a choice." They said customers' demands were extremely high and the outages served as a purpose.

They mentioned if outages were not done, the state could be suffering from outages for weeks or months.

"Doing nothing wasn’t an option."

8:50 a.m. - The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) expects to come out of emergency conditions later this morning.

“There is enough generation on the electric system to allow us to begin to return to more normal operating conditions,” Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin said.

8:40 a.m. - Houston police are clearing a line of people that lined up a water distribution site after they said they were blocking the METRO Houston stop. The site was set to open at 11:30 a.m.

8:03 a.m. - If you must hit the roads this morning, be very careful on bridges and overpasses. Especially in the lanes near the shoulder. Yesterday's moisture has frozen again. Most of our surface roads are okay. Ice is a real problem in our northwestern communities.

As of this posting, ice is reported at:

  •   IH-10 KATY MANAGED LANE Eastbound After SH 6
  • IH-45 Northbound At WOODLANDS PKY/ROBINSON RD in Montgomery County
  • IH-69 Southbound At FOSTORIA RD in Montgomery County
  • SH-242 Eastbound At IH-45 in Montgomery County
  • SH-242 Westbound At IH-45 in Montgomery County
  • BELTWAY 8-WEST Southbound After US-290 NORTHWEST
  • Tomball Tollway Northbound At Northpoint Blvd
  • Tomball Tollway Southbound At FM 2920/ Waller-Tomball
  • SH-146 Northbound Between SH-225 to Missouri St
  • SH-225 Eastbound At SENS to SH-146
  • IH-10 Westbound Between Cane Island Pkwy
  • IH-10 Westbound Between EAGLE LAKE RD
  • IH-10 Eastbound At Cane Island Pkwy
  • IH-10 Eastbound At EAGLE LAKE RD
  • FM-529 Westbound At STEFKA RD to BRAZOS RIVER/WALLER-AUSTIN COUNTY LINE
  • FM-529 Eastbound At BRAZOS RIVER/WALLER-AUSTIN COUNTY LINE to STEFKA RD
  • FM-1887 Northbound At Stefka Rd to DIORIO RD
  • US-290 NORTHWEST Westbound At SH-99 Lanier Pkwy to Field Store
  • FM-1887 Southbound At DIORIO RD to Stefka Rd
  • SH-159 Northbound At BRAZOS RIVER/WALLER-AUSTIN COUNTY LINE to FM-3346
  • SH-159 Southbound At FM-3346 to BRAZOS RIVER/WALLER-AUSTIN COUNTY LINE
  • SH-6 Northbound At US-290 to CEDAR CREEK RD
  • SH-6 Southbound At CEDAR CREEK RD to US-290
  • SH-105 Westbound At LEE TURNER RD to PEACH CREEK
  • SH-105 Eastbound At PEACH CREEK to LEE TURNER RD

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12 a.m. - A hard freeze warning is in effect through 9 a.m.

Temperatures will be below freezing until late Friday morning.

Sub-freezing temperatures of 15 to 25 degrees are possible across portions of Southeast Texas. In Houston proper, temps will be in the 20s. Areas north will be in the teens. Protect your pipes, plants and most importantly - people and pets.

Thursday updates

9:41 p.m. - Harris County Sheriff's Office officials said they responded to an arson call at a church on Littlecrest. The church and an attached residence were on fire, but no one was inside.

8:45 p.m. - All outbound lanes of U.S. 290 were completely shut down starting at Bauer Road due to ice on the overpass. 

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