More than 7,000 lose power in East Texas storm

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A large, decaying pine tree blocks County Road 765 near Alazan.

A driver gets tired of waiting for its removal and turns around for a different route, but circles back when he sees the arrival of a road crew.

Alvis Barrett's skill with the backhoe made the job look like child's play.

It was all in a day's work to remove the heavy tree. The motorist was on his way within about 5 minutes.

The wait for a normal routine was longer for about 100 rural electric customers.

Generators were used by some customers who were without electricity for about 12 hours. Oncor customers had a long wait too.

On Fredonia Street a fallen tree brought down power and cable TV service.

"Well, communications power failures, that's the main thing keeping us busy. Keeping the plant going with our backup power generators," said plant maintenance operator James Cartwright.

Perhaps all this inconvenience prepares residents for the larger storms they may see during hurricane season.

"The city and the county offices in the last couple of weeks ave been to San Antonio for a week for a training in those areas. The month before that we did web EOC training in Lufkin. And in two weeks from now we'll all be going to Houston for some sheltering training, so we're always preparing ourselves for these type of incidents," said Nacogdoches County judge Joe English.

Most residents took the high winds in stride.

A couple on Highway 7 West knew a tree eventually would come down.

Now they're picking up its branches sooner instead of later.

According to Oncor spokesman David Collier, 1,500 customers in Angelina County and 210 in Nacogdoches County were still without electricity as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. At the height of the storm, about 7,300 lost power between the two counties.

DETEC spokesman Larry Warren said 100 customers are still without power in Nacogdoches County. Fifteen hundred customers lost power at the height of the storm, Warren said.

Collier said crews are still evaluating power outages and he could not offer an estimated time of when all power would be restored.

Collier said high winds knocked down power lines and trees, causing most of the power outages.

Douglass ISD is the only school affected by the storm, as school officials announced it would start two hours later on Tuesday.

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