|Heavy rain said responsible for numerous wrecks|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
March 20, 2006 - If you were to judge local law enforcement’s weekend by arrest and offense reports, it would appear to have been a very quiet weekend.
However, those reports account for only a portion of the responders’ duties. Weather spotters each community were called to monitor storms as they approached and blew through Hopkins County over the weekend.
Sunday was especially busy for deputies, state troopers and emergency responders due to accidents from the downpour.
Law enforcement officers and firefighters were dispatched to at least seven vehicle accidents Sunday, and one Saturday morning during the heavy rains.
State Highway 11 east was a particularly slick spot over the weekend, with three accidents occurring along that stretch of roadway, and another on SH 11 west.
One vehicle hydroplaned off SH 11 east in Como Saturday morning, causing the vehicle to strike a utility pole and damage underground phone lines. The driver sustained cuts and bruises, but was not thought to have any incapacitating injuries. Then, at 7:37 a.m. Sunday, officers were dispatched to an accident on SH 11 west and to a rollover accident on SH 11 east of FM 269 in Pickton at 10:11 a.m. While en route, one of the deputies hydroplaned on SH 11 east in Como, causing the patrol truck to go off the roadway with the rear of the vehicle crashing into a tree. None of the accidents were reported to have resulted in any severe injuries.
Officers also responded to four crashes on Interstate 30 Sunday, including two accidents on I-30 west at the 135 mile marker within three hours time. The first accident at the Weaver exit resulted in the interstate being closed to traffic from 1:13 p.m. to 3:27 p.m. but no severe injuries were reported, while the second, which occurred at 3:55 p.m., did not result in closure of the highway but did result in more serious injuries. Sunday, officers also responded to wrecks at 8:45 a.m. on I-30 at State Highway 19 and at the 119 mile marker at 12:03 p.m. The crash at the 119 mile marker was reported to have involved a Dodge which clipped a another car, sending it careening across the median and opposing lanes of traffic, according to sheriff’s reports.
Deputies also had to navigate flooding and water logged roadways. County Roads 3528, 3530, 3532, 3533, 3535 and FM 71 west were among the those impassable due to flooding as of Sunday evening, dispatchers noted. Fallen trees and limbs caused the closure of County Road 4738 and 4734 until the debris could be cleared. Monday morning. County Road 4734 also was reported to have a damaged bridged as well. Motorists having to travel in the area were advised to find alternate routes until the water levels lessen, and to use caution on all slick roadways.
In Sulphur Springs, an accident Sunday night caused city hall to be closed most of the morning Monday while TXU Energy crews worked to repair a utility pole behind the police station, which was snapped Sunday night when a vehicle struck it. Only the municipal building was affected by the power disruption. The police department continued to operate all necessary communications and offices utilizing the department’s emergency generator. Power was expected to be restored by lunch time, according to electric company workers.