Storm knocks down trees, power lines; some still without electricity this morning

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

May 3. 2007 - The thunderstorm which rumbled through Hopkins County Wednesday night knocked down trees and power lines throughout the county, sporadically disrupting electrical service.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Southwest Dairy Museum employee Jim Tate checks out the damage done by Wednesday night's storm. Two Bradford pear trees were split on the property of the museum.

One structure caught fire, although it was unclear if it was a result of the storm. The roof of a barn was blown onto State Highway 11, and a tree fell on a Cranford Street house.

Just before noon today, only a few areas in Miller Grove, Cumby and Arbala were still reporting loss of power. Both Farmers Electric Cooperative and TXU electric services were called in as the storm hit just after 7 p.m. and have been working since to restore power as the calls come in.

Both the Hopkins County and Sulphur Springs Emergency Operations Centers were activated as the storm progressed toward Hopkins County, and the national Weather Service issued a tornado watch for the entire county from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

The hail and strong winds appeared to die down as the storm blew into the county, splitting to the northwest and southeast but still bringing enough wind gusts and heavy rain to knock down trees, causing transformers to blow.

County and city firefighters responded to numerous calls of sparking posts from blown transformers, lines knocked down due to trees, or of arcing and power flashes due to movement of trees which lines ran through. County dispatchers contacted Texas Department of Transportation officials and county commissioners to get work crews to assist firefighters and officers on roads where lines and trees were down, posing a traffic hazard.

Some  locations of downed trees and lines included State Highway 154 south, State Highway 11 east and west, County Road 4719 in Ridgeway, U.S. Highway 67 east of Weaver, College Street, County Road 2301, FM 275, FM 69 north, County Road 4734, County Road 3518, 

McBride Street in Como, County Road 1115, County Road 1199,  Interstate 30 at the 130 mile marker, FM 2297

As the storm showed signs of abating, Arbala, Hopkins County and Cumby firefighters responded on County Road 1106 east to a mobile home fire from 10:50 p.m. to 1:39 a.m. One side of the structure was engulfed when they arrived. Firefighters made an interior attack, knocked the blaze down then checked for hot spots. No further information was available at press time.

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