Residents Go Home After Chaotic Power Outage - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/16/05 - East Texas

Residents Go Home After Chaotic Power Outage

by Ramonica R. Jones

"I've heard everything, like terrorists hit a power plant and a grid was out, I've heard everything," said Diane Brazil, a gas station attendant.

Some anxious moments across East Texas Wednesday night, as people tried to figure out why they didn't have electricity.

Around 7:00 p.m., strong winds caused a power plant near China, Texas to go offline. That triggered a chain reaction across South Texas, causing more lines to go down - knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses.

Dusty Griffin said, "We called all around and they said everything south was down too, so we decided to go north, and we could see the lights from Corrigan. I thought, 'well, we're alright now'."

From Trinity to Polk to Montgomery counties, 150,000 Entergy customers in as many as nine counties lost power.

East Texas motels stayed busy throughout the night, taking reservations and checking folks in who didn't want to stay in their homes.

Veneranda Duran said, "A lot of people [took] smoking [rooms], even if they don't smoke, because they really [wanted] a room and they [couldn't] stand the heat and no power in their house."

Trinity County is still dealing with last night's outage. The sheriff's office was without power for four hours Wednesday night.

"It was rough," said Sheriff Jimmy Smith. "We had 911 calls from people having problems."

Power has been restored for every Entergy customer north of Houston, but about a thousand customers in the Beaumont area are still waiting to turn on the lights.

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