One for the books: Assessing damage from another Texas ice storm


The TCU campus stays closed until Saturday, Feb. 3 at noon. Tarrant County is enduring cold weather with wind chill of 3 degrees fahrenheit. (JD Pells/TCU 360)

By Gianna Mares, Staff Writer

Flooding on South University Drive in front of the FLASH the university store. (Gianna Mares/Staff Writer)

Fort Worth saw 26 water main breaks during this month’s ice storm, but that’s nowhere near the damage that occurred during the catastrophic storm of 2021.

“The number of breaks that occurred from Feb. 2-5 is more than eight times the typical one to three breaks in a week, but that doesn’t come close to matching the 720 breaks the city saw in 2021,” said Mary Gugliuzza, communications coordinator for the Fort Worth Water Department. 

“That storm left about 312,000 customers under boil water notices. There were scattered outages this time, but no boil water notices,” Gugliuzza said. 

Potbelly Sandwich Shop on South University Drive lost water for approximately four hours because of the main break on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023 and had more business during this week compared to a normal week, said Author Espinoza, the shop’s general manager and training leader. 

The Fort Worth Water Department’s plan for both winter storms was for the Holly Water Treatment Plant to get its water from Lake Worth and contain that water within the holly pressure plane. “The power outages in 2021 threw that plan out the window,” Gugliuzza said. This plan was a success during the most

The intersection of Stadium Drive and Bellaire Drive North on Jan. 31, 2023. (Gianna Mares/ Staff Writer)

recent ice storm, because the water department was able to keep the holly water contained in the holly pressure plane.

“The main differences in the two events was the duration. There were not extensive power outages in 2023, and it wasn’t nearly as cold as it got in 2021,” Gugliuzza said. “The Fort Worth community can help by being patient and prepared with extra insulation supplies and water.”