East Texas outages, traffic problems after storms move through overnight

RAW VIDEO: Storms damage homes, businesses in San Augustine

EAST TEXAS (KLTV/KTRE) - Heavy rain and storms that moved through Wednesday night left power outages and flooded roadways in parts of East Texas.

An EF-2 tornado struck San Augustine at around 11:20 p.m. doing significant damage to a hotel and various other structures. The National Weather Service has sent a survey team to San Augustine to examine the damage.

The National Weather Service reported a long-tracked supercell thunderstorm passed through Deep East Texas, west-central Louisiana and into the Arkansas/Louisiana area. They reported the potential storm damage swath is approximately 150 miles long with possible tornado damage reported in Caddo Parrish and LaSalle Parish, Lousianna and in Upshur County and San Augustine County.

(Source: National Weather Service)
(Source: National Weather Service)

Road Closures

TxDOT said motorists are advised to avoid damaged areas in and near the city of San Augustine after a possible tornado has damaged buildings and left trees, power lines and debris across several roadways. Several roads were shut down overnight.

TxDOT reported State Highway 21 East and US 96 in San Augustine closed as crews work to clear the roadway and restore power. They said traffic will be detoured downtown to Highway 137 in the mean time.

County Road 1133 in Smith County is closed for a culvert replacement. A portion of the road is closed between County 1131 and Farm-to-Market Road 2661 in Precinct 1.

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At 10:35 a.m., TxDOT reported FM 2497 in Angelina County is reopened after it was closed in anticipation of the heavy rain.

As of 6 a.m. Thursday, SH 21, SH 147 North, FM 363, FM 2213 and FM 1277 have all been reopened, according to TxDOT officials.

Emergency personnel are still cleaning up trees and debris left over from the storms.

Smith County officials are reporting high water locations on Barber Road at FM 1252, FM 850 at CR 3197, and FM 2868 at Saline Creek, and FM 2661 at CR 1112.

In Tyler, barricades are up on Cambridge Drive at Sutherland due to high water. And traffic cones have been put in place in the 1200 block of Wilder Way to warn motorists of high water in the area.

RAW VIDEO: Heavy rain causes traffic woes for Tyler drivers

Power Outages

Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative sent the following alert at about 4:30 p.m. reporting about 1,246 outages with the majority of outages in San Augustine County:

As of 4:30 PM Thursday, we have 1,246 members remaining without power within San Augustine. Crews are diligently working to restore the damage to the San Augustine substation. This morning’s goal was to have power restored to the substation by this evening. This task has proved to be more extensive than expected and the substation outage may continue into the night. The San Augustine substation serves a portion of the City of San Augustine system and members along portions of Hwy 21 West, 147 South and North, FM 1751 and FM 2213. After power is restored to the substation, crews will focus on rebuilding damaged lines and poles. An EF-2 tornado struck the San Augustine area Wednesday night, according to a preliminary report from the National Weather Service Shreveport office. Though the survey is in the early stages, NWS surveyors believe the storm that struck the San Augustine area had winds of 111 to 135 mph. Numerous trees were uprooted or snapped, power poles broken, lines downed and homes damaged.

Above all, DETEC encourages everyone to keep safety a priority. Should you encounter a downed line, consider it live and dangerous.

San Augustine power substation was damaged by a tornado on Wednesday night. (Source: DETEC)
San Augustine power substation was damaged by a tornado on Wednesday night. (Source: DETEC)

Previous update:

As of 8 AM Thursday, we have approximately 1,600 outages. Over 1,200 are within San Augustine County. The others are primarily in the Sabine County area around Rebel Ridge. Around 11:20 PM a tornado hit the San Augustine area causing massive damage. For the Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative system – the San Augustine substation received damage and we are recording many poles and lines down. This substation serves the City of San Augustine and members along portions of Hwy 21 West, 147 South and North, FM 1751 and FM 2213. Repairs to the substation has began and we hope to have it back up this evening. Areas with more extensive damage will take more time as crews must make repairs to the downed lines and poles. Above all, DETEC encourages everyone to keep safety a priority. Should you encounter a downed line, consider it live and dangerous.

At about 7:54 a.m., more than 1,000 customers are without power throughout East Texas. At the storms, more than 4,000 customers were reported to be without power.

Check power outage maps for your area

School Closures:

San Augustine ISD cancelled school for Thursday due to the widespread damage reported throughout the community. Karnack ISD has reportedly cancelled classes due to a power outage and low water pressure. Cayuga ISD will have a delayed start due to localized flooding. Classes will start at 10 a.m.

Flooding and Damages

According to an Upshur County spokesperson, the county had not received reports of damage as of 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.'

Flooded roadways and downed trees were reported throughout the area near Gladewater and near Tyler. Thursday morning it was reported Lake Gladewater is closed due to high water levels.

Smith County Game Warden Bradley Clark reported the boat ramps on Lake Tyler are closed due to high waters as well.

RAW: Water on the road on Highway 135 in Gladewater

Widespread damage has been reported throughout San Augustine. Damage was reported near the Highway 21/96 interchange. Several businesses including the Budget Inn motel, as well as many homes, were damaged. The pavilion at the San Augustine County Courthouse was destroyer.

A command center has been set up at the San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office.

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