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Home News-Telegram News Despite flooded roadways, downed trees and power lines, county dodges bullet in weekend storm's path

Despite flooded roadways, downed trees and power lines, county dodges bullet in weekend storm's path

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Compared to some areas, Hopkins County came through Saturday’s storm and tornado warning relatively unscathed. Damages, according to county reports, were fairly comparable with any good spring storm — lots of waterlogged roadways, and fallen trees and power lines resulting in sporadic power failures.

County firefighters, both paid and volunteer, and deputies went on alert at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday following reports of what appeared to be a tornado touching down near Cooper headed toward Hopkins County, and another storm cell with increasing intensity south of the county headed toward Sulphur Springs. The city also activated its emergency operations base, monitoring the situation.

Officials at Cooper Lake worked to get everyone out of the water and off the boat ramp. County dispatchers received their first storm-related call soon after the alert. A family reported they had gotten in their vehicle to leave home on County Road 4761 near State Highway 19 north when a tree fell down over the roadway onto their vehicle. Although the vehicle was damaged, the occupants reported all were OK. Deputies continued to check that area later in the evening, as more reports of damages, including to a shop building, came in.

Reports of downed power lines and trees began to come in quickly as the storm blew across the county. Firefighters, county precinct workers, utility crews and Texas Department of Transportation crews were dispatched to numerous locations including: State Highway 19 at County Road 4760, where lines were said to be down and arcing; Johnson Lane where a power line was knocked down, causing a transformer fire; lines down in a tree on South Moore Street causing the tree to catch on fire; a tree fire on North Jackson Street;  to State Highway 11 east, where a tree fell on the road; to an electrical fire caused by a downed line on County Road 2308 off FM 1870; an electrical fire reported on FM 275 south; trees down on FM 1567 and County Road 3525.The Birthright and Tira area was reported to be without power for a while shortly after the storm hit.

A vehicle also overturned onto its top on State Highway 19 just past Pilot Travel Center at about 5 p.m. Two people were taken by ambulance to the local hospital, including one pediatric patient.

By 8 a.m. Monday, the city’s rain count for the 3-day weekend had reached nearly 4 inches. Overall, the storm dumped 3.59 inches of rain in Sulphur Springs alone, with some areas of the county reporting higher amounts of precipitation – most of which fell in a few short hours Saturday. Naturally, the deluge overwhelmed some areas’ drainage systems, causing yards to look more like ponds and submerging roadways.

Firefighters and sheriff’s officers reported that FM 71 west near the Delta-Hopkins County line had to again be closed due to the high water level on the bridge. Other areas noted to dispatchers as being covered in water this weekend included County Roads 2316, 2321, 4708, 3518, 4763, 2322, 4764 and 2310; FM Roads 2560, 71 east at County Road 3567, FM 69 north at County Road 3918, FM 2653 north of the interstate and railroad tracks, FM 1567 west, CR 3380 at FM 900; and State Highway 11 west, a bout a quarter of a mile east of County Road 4738.

County officials also received reports at midnight of a vehicle stuck in flood waters on County Road 3523 north of FM 69 in Dike and a vehicle washed off County Road 2315 at 10:45 p.m. Saturday. No injuries were reported to have resulted from either incident.




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