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Home News-Telegram News Snapped trees, downed lines cause power outages

Snapped trees, downed lines cause power outages

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Interrupted electric service as a result of fallen utility lines and frigid temperatures, and snapped trees and limbs continued to be the main difficulties resulting from Thursday and Friday’s winter weather.

The ice also resulted in cancelation and rescheduling of many activities, including a parade, Christmas the Park and Christmas downtown. The weather even resulted in closing of the North Pole of Texas both Friday and Saturday nights.

David Collier with Oncore at 10 a.m. Saturday said about 650 customers in Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County were still without power.

“A best estimate is sometime Sunday to have it all back on. We are doing everything we can. We have extra crews out working to restore power,” the Oncore representative said.

Farmers Electric Coop’s website noted some 2,7000 FEC members still without power at 6:10 a.m. Saturday. That number includes the entire service area which spans from Wylie, Rockwall and Forney eastward across Royse City, Caddo Mills, Quinlan and Loan Oak, south to Emory, north through Cumby, Commerce and Cooper and east across a portion of Hopkins and Delta counties.

Lots of power lines were reported Friday to be down in Sulphur Springs, where firefighters also responded to reports of two electrical fires and a transformer fire, and conduced two smoke investigations. From 8:18 a.m. to 12:13 a.m. Sulphur Springs firemen went to at least 10 different locations where power lines had fallen either due to the weight of ice or trees falling on them. 

In Hopkins County, firefighters precinct crews and deputies from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. responded to 25 reports of power lines down, 18 reports of trees down, one transformer fire and one electrical fire. A few people even reported trees down on vehicles.

Only one injury was reported as a result of the storm, a railroad employee. A railroad crew was working clearing trees along the tracks near Ridgeway when one tree caught a worker on the shoulder as it fell, pinning him down. Other workers got the tree off him and transported him on the rail “truck” down the tracks to Sulphur Springs. Hopkins County sheriff’s deputies, Sulphur Springs firefighters and Hopkins County Emergency Medical Services personnel  met them at the tracks on Hillcrest Drive in Sulphur Springs, and helped load him into the ambulance to be transported to the hospital.

The 1.77 inch of sleet which pelted the city froze in ditches, yards and overhangs, but most roads were reported to be clear Saturday. Texas Department of Transportation had crews out Thursday and Friday sanding state highways, especially at bridges and overpasses to try to keep them operational. Aside from a brief period midday Friday, the slush washed off most surfaces, making them passable Saturday. 

Very few road incidents were reported Friday. In Sulphur Springs, two vehicles reported sliding off Bill Bradford Road at the overpass, and officers noted the State Highway 19 overpass was icy Friday morning. In the county, one vehicle being hauled with a U-Haul reportedly slid off Interstate 30 Friday evening.

On Saturday, most roads were open with very few if any slick spots. But, with temperatures not expect to be out of the low to mid 30s before Tuesday, people are still urged to remain at home and out of the weather when possible.




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