AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Mayor Kirk Watson joined KXAN’s Sally Hernandez and Tom Miller Thursday morning to discuss citywide issues related to the recent winter weather.

Watson said the recent weather-related issues have been compared to what Austin experienced during the February 2021 winter storm, but said other than the ice, the storms were different. However, he said we should learn from the incidents.

“There are things that we should learn from this, and if we don’t learn from it, and we don’t do additional things to try to prevent … then shame on us,” Watson said.

Watson said from the response standpoint, Austin is having more cold weather incidents, but prevention-wise, there are a couple of things the city plans to do to help.

“One is we’re going to need to look at how it is we deal with our tree canopy. While we want to preserve that tree canopy, we also know that if we do we don’t take certain actions, we’re going to have situations like this,” Watson said. “So some preventative measures probably need to go into place, and key among those is going to be how do we deal with our vegetation.”

The mayor said this weather showed how the city could have more frequent storms or disaster-type situations, and it needs to be prepared to deal with them. 

“One of the things that I commit is that we will take that time,” Watson said. “It’s one of those things that we ought to take the time, we ought to do the balancing that we’ve talked about, on different ways that we might approach it, and see if we can’t come up with ways that mitigate this as we go in the future.”