Deep East Texas residents face treacherous conditions from winter weather

Updated: Jan. 11, 2021 at 7:47 PM CST
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DEEP EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - Highway 7 was passable Monday morning, but still slick and tricky.

“Just like (Sunday) when my vehicle slid off the road in Leon County,” said KTRE reporter Donna McCollum. “Nothing near as bad as when this vehicle landed in a pond deep within the Davy Crockett National Forest. No one was hurt.”

It was the kind of mishaps keeping emergency workers busy including Houston County Emergency Coordinator Heath Murff. On his second day on the job, he offered worthy advice.

“Take precautions. Leave a little earlier, drive a little slower. Keep that distance in between the vehicles, in front of you. Even with 4-wheel vehicles and all-drive vehicles, stuff like that, stopping is, you know, is what’s harder to do,” Murff said.

Professional drivers get in trouble too. A 18-wheeler milk truck jack-knifed just west of Kennard. Help from a big rig wrecker got him back on the road in no time.

In Kennard, locals were busy stocking up on storm munchies, while others fueled up for a warm night.

”Filling up tanks for my generator. They said we’re not going to be back up until 8 o’clock tonight. Went out at 4 o’clock yesterday,” said Houston County resident Bill Trudell.

More than 2800 households in Houston County were without power Monday morning.

”The lines would arc when the snow would fall off the lines. It would flash and all that,” said Crockett resident Richard Omelina.

Now it’s time to think about tonight.

”And it’s gonna continue to get worse. Tonight when this stuff freezes over there’s gonna be black ice everywhere. We’re just hoping everybody will stay off the roads and give us a break,” said Kennard fire chief Don Parrish.

Some knew exactly how to do that. Snowball fights in Kennard and romps in the snow with the dog in Crockett.

Crockett Civic Center is open for emergency shelter tonight for those without heat until 10 a.m. Tuesday. Bring bedding and food. Masks are required.

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