Monday, July 5, 2010

Extension office damaged in recent rains

On Tuesday, June 29, during a very heavy rainstorm, a section of the roof at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service office in Travis County (1600-B Smith Rd) collapsed under the weight of all the water on the building's flat roof. I have been told that our area received over 3 inches of rain in about an hour.

Luckily, no one was hurt; however, the office was badly damaged in the ensuing flood, and is closed for the foreseeable future. Travis County is looking for alternate office space for Extension, but we are not aware of those arrangements just yet. Our phone and email services are currently unavailable, but we are working to fix those issues. We are hoping to have our calls re-routed to another county facility in the next few days, so you should be able to reach us by phone (512-854-9600) very soon.

Some services will be temporarily interrupted. Most notably our gardening hotline, manned by Master Gardeners. Also, emails to all Extension accounts, including the Master Gardener account, which is available for gardening questions, are currently not accessible. Our IT professionals are working to resolve issues with our servers and get our email accounts back up and running. If you have sent emails to us, those messages should be in our mailboxes waiting and we should be able to retrieve them, once our server is back online. If you have a pressing horticultural question, I would suggest that you contact the Extension offices in Hays or Williamson County. Agents and Master Gardeners in those counties will be happy to assist you until Travis County is once again fully functional.

If you have been trying to reach the Extension office in the last week and have not been able to get anyone, please call back in a few days. I'm hopeful that we will have at least limited ability to communicate in the very near future.

In the meantime, all Extension programs being held at locations other than the Extension office, including all upcoming horticulture presentations by the Travis County Master Gardeners, will continue as planned and on schedule.

If you have an upcoming interview for the 2010 Master Gardener program, please report to the Extension office (1600 Smith Rd) on your scheduled date and time. You will be given directions to an alternate location, across the street, for your interview.

Thank you all for your patience, as we try to get back to normal day-to-day operations. I will send out an update on the status of the office as soon as I know more.

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