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Home News-Telegram News Weather: Holiday activities postponed; hundreds without power

Weather: Holiday activities postponed; hundreds without power

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The wintry storm front that swept into the area Thursday has left at least 800 Oncor customers in the Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County and Commerce area without power, thanks to fallen lines at 8 a.m. Friday. It also caused the postponement of most of the weekend Christmas activites scheduled downtown.

The total number of homes without power includes 200-250 in Sulphur Springs, 50 or so more in Martin Springs, and the rest mostly in Cumby and Commerce, an Oncor representative said shortly after noon Friday. That’s enough to prompt the Red Cross to establish a warming shelter late Friday.

Farmers Electric Coop phone lines were tied up at noon and the electric cooperative’s website and Facebook page indicated a large number of power outages

“We are currently experiencing multiple outages. We have crews out working to restore power as soon as possible.”

Those weather-related issues and problems led to the postponement of the Christmas on the Square and the 6th Annual Lions Club Lights Parade, both of which have been rescheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12.

Meanwhile, the North East Texas Choral Society has canceled its Friday concert at Lake Fork Baptist Church, but will perform as scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Hopkins County Regional Civic Center. However, photos with Santa Claus at the Echo Publishing office, 401, Church St., were still on as scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

See a listing on Page 5A for all of the cancelations and postponements.

City and county law enforcement and dispatchers reported the roads Friday morning were clear, but some bridges and overpasses were icing as the day wore on. Texas Department of Transportation had been out by morning, sanding bridges. However, heavy traffic across them drove substance to the road side, allowing uncovered sufaces to freeze, officers reported.

However, as of lunch Friday, only minor crashes had resulted from the weather conditions in Hopkins County. Although, one woman’s vehicle was a casualty. The woman started the car and went inside to allow it to warm up. While inside, a tree limb fell onto the tree.

In fact, branches breaking off when the ice became too heavy or trees falling over were reported to the biggest obstacle for county residents. Many trees and branches in Sulphur Springs and throughout Hopkins County had fallen on power lines, snapping them. The force was so great at a few homes in Sulphur Springs that not only did lines go down, but the meter connecting the utility to the home was pulled out.

As of 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sulphur Springs dispatchers reported trees and lines down at the following locations: a big tree down on lines and completely obstructing Connally Street, more trees up and down Connally Street, Camp Street, Kurtley Street, Texas Street where a meter was pulled off a house, Holiday Drive, a line obstructing Brinker Street at Industrial Drive, Oak Avenue, Oakdale Road, North Davis Streets, a tree and power lines down on a vehicle on Russell Drive and several limbs had fallen down into one lane of League Street, too.

At 11 a.m. Friday, county dispatchers and deputies had received reports of trees and lines down at the following locations: County Road 4753, Depot Street in Cumby, at least seven  locations in downtown Como, State Highway 154 south, the southbound lane of State Highway 11 east in Como, South Williams Street in Cumby, State Highway 11 west, County Road 1199 in Brashear, State Highway 19 north in North Hopkins, Commerce Street in Cumby, County Road 4777, County Road 2301 at County Road 2300, FM 71 west, State Highway 19 south near the county barn in Arbala, County Road 1159, County Road 2301, FM 71 east in Sulphur Bluff, County Road 4754, County Road 2316, FM 499, lines down on County Road 4771, State Highway 19 north at County Road 4574, County Road 1157, FM 71 west at FM 2653, County Road 1130 and County Road 1444.

Deputies said the areas with the worst damages due to trees and lines down are FM 2653 from Interstate 30 to Ridgeway, then to FM 71, west from the Interstate 30 overpass on Hillcrest Drive down State Highway 19 north with ice accumulations on the bridges, County Road 4765 off FM 71, in Cumby and downtown Como. One location, County Road 4760 south of FM 71 west, even had water running over the road making it impassable as of midmorning Friday.

A warming shelter has been set up at Arbala Volunteer Fire Department, located on FM 1567 at FM 2081 in Arbala, those suffering extended frigid temperatures with no source of warmth can go to the warming shelter, according to county emergency operators. Red Cross officials were on there way to the location just before noon Friday. Miller Grove Volunteer Fire Department is canvasing areas in the county, particularly the western section, checking for elderly individuals without power and sources of warmth; those without warmth and power are being taken to the warming shelter.

Any elderly who is without power and warmth in these frigid temperatures, and individuals requiring electricity to power medical equipment, can contact Dawn or Moose Morgan with the Red Cross at 903-335-2491 to make arrangements for shelter, according to county emergency operators.  

Most local schools by Thursday afternoon had decided to start late on Friday, but as the storm progressed into the area, all except three schools in Hopkins County opted to close classes Friday as a safety precaution.

The Sulphur Springs Lions Club Christmas Lights Parade has been rescheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12. City Manager Marc Maxwell said the lighting of the city’s Christmas Tree has been rescheduled to coincide with parade.

Tourism Director Joey Baker said that the winter storm forced the cancellation of the snow tiger exhibit as well as the pony rides, petting zoo and the snow slide. In a matter of just a few minutes Friday morning, all of the attractions had contacted Baker to work out details necessary to bring them back to town on Thursday, Baker said.

Several other Christmas activities and services have also been canceled, rescheduled or delayed Friday as well. Here’s a quick list of those reported to the News-Telegram as of noon Friday:

Cancelations, Closings

  • All Christmas activities scheduled for downtown Sulphur Springs Friday night have been canceled. Most activities have been rescheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12.
  • Tira Community Christmas Party, scheduled Saturday night, Dec. 7, has been canceled.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Hopkins County canceled today.
  • Christmas in the Park canceled.
  • Sulphur Springs ISD, Yantis ISD, North Hopkins ISD, Cumby ISD and Miller Grove ISD  closed Friday. No basketball games Dec. 6 for Miller Grove.
  • The Senior Citizens Center closed on Friday. No Bingo or Meal A Day Friday were held either.
  • North East Texas Choral Society has cancelled its Friday night concert at Lake Fork Baptist Church. The concerts on Saturday and Sunday at the Civic Center are still scheduled at this time.
  • Texas A&M University-Commerce and Paris Junior College classes and events were cancelled starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec 5, and all day Friday, Dec. 6.

Delayed Starts

  • Sulphur Bluff ISD 10 a.m. start Friday.
  • Saltillo ISD 10 a.m. start, with buses running two hours late.


  • Douglas Intermediate School Winter Carnival rescheduled Monday, Dec. 9, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • The Lions Club Christmas parade and Christmas activities scheduled Friday downtown have been rescheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12.


  • Como-Pickton CISD opened at regular time Friday but was closing at noon, with parents asked to plan for their kids and buses running at that time.

— Kerry Craig, News-Telegram writer, and Butch Burney, News-Telegram managing editor, contributed to this story.




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