WACO, Texas- Winter Storm Uri blew it’s way through Texas leaving millions without electricity and impacting utility companies across America.

As the storms one year anniversary approaches, local companies are sharing how it strengthens business operations.

Waco-Mclenann County Assistant Emergency Coordinator Ryan Dirker says the storm helped spotlight the need of collaboration between all city departments, including utilities.

“We can handle power outages, we can handle ice, we can handle sub zero temperatures, but we can’t necessarily handle all three of them for a week,” Dirker said.

According to the Texas Comptroller’s website, nearly 70 percent of Texans experienced power outages leaving them with no heat or running water in the cold temperatures. 

“Here at the Office of Emergency Management, we have completely redone or processes as far as redeploying assets,” Dirker said. “What that means is getting things out into the community ahead of time and really working in lockstep with community partners both government and non-government.”

Dirker says the faith community stepped up tremendously during the storm, offering warming centers, food, and water.

“Not only shelter services but they had their volunteers involved offering social services things, feeding people, trying to find temporary housing,” Dirker said. “They really went above and beyond and we are very thankful for that.”

TxDOT Public Information Officer Jake Smith says they always prepare for storms months in advance, but last years storm showed them how to expect the unexpected.

“Last year definitely was unprecedented and it certainly presented a lot of learning opportunities. But our crews worked really hard and did really well with keeping the roads as passable as possible,” Smith said. This year should any more wintry weather come our way we are constantly monitoring the weather and forecast and we can adjust operations as warranted.”

Smith says the number one resource for wintry conditions is their website.