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Snow Freezes East Texas Activity

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Power Outages, School Closures Abound

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – On Sunday of this past week, area residents were treated to something rarely seen in the East Texas area – snow. We’re not talking just a little, either. We’re talking anywhere from between four to eight inches of the white stuff.

It was absolutely gorgeous for a while. The pristine blanket coated everything, making the outside look like a Winter Wonderland. Then, a harsh reality set in. Snow has weight and the more it snowed, the heavier tree branches became and the more ice accumulated on power lines.

Eventually, notifications of school closures began to trickle in and then the power outages started. For those on the outskirts of town, the power flickered once or twice and then went out completely. The power outages continued through Monday when at approximately 5:15 pm, the lights went out in Grapeland.

For those with gas heat or wood burning stoves of fireplaces, the lack of electricity was an inconvenience. For those who rely on electricity for their heating, the lack of power was a serious matter.

Recognizing the need for shelter, the Crockett Civic Center opened its doors to area residents who still had no power by 6 pm on Monday, Jan. 11.

In addition, Keisha Thomas with Keisha’s Café in Crockett turned her recently opened restaurant into a place people could rely on for a hot meal while crews worked to get the power back on.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Thomas stated, “Some of us are still without power. I will start cooking spaghetti now for people that don’t have power. If you can volunteer to take food to people food that can’t get out that would be great. The café will be closed to orders today and will serve to feed people for free without power the best we can.”

While power had been restored to most people by Tuesday at 1 pm, the Houston County Electric Co-op reported after working around the clock since the first outage was reported on Sunday, they were down to 31.76 percent of customers in Anderson County without power and 16.25 of customers in Houston County without power.

HCEC has 3,325 meters in Anderson County and 1,057 are still affected as of 1 pm on Tuesday. Houston County has 8,912 meters and 1,448 meters were still affected by 1 pm on Tuesday.

COVER PHOTO BY SHANTEL BRYAN ANDERSON

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.  

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