Thousands of East Texans Without Light and Heat - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/26/03 - Tyler

Thousands of East Texans Without Light and Heat

East Texans woke up to a what looked like a forest of glass trees Wednesday morning.

"I was hoping it wasn't going to be cold enough to add more ice to what we had yesterday, but I was wrong," says Don Nixon.

Don and his wife, Pat, were left in the dark from fragile trees shattering on Wood County Electric Co-op's already frozen power lines.

"The electricity went out best we can tell about one fifteen one thirty. A lot of limbs dropped through the night, thump thump," says Don Nixon.

What's keeping East Texans in the dark are trees covered in ice that are becoming too heavy. They're knocking out power lines and your lights.

"It was about 58 degrees in here," says Pat Nixon. "No wind, hat was good. We just cuddled up on the chairs rapped up in blankets."

Lake Lydia residents burned kerosene lamps and waited as Wood Co. crews cut tree after tree off power lines on Wednesday. Tom Bell even brought out a pot of hot coffee to reinforce the cold, overworked crews trying to restore his electricity.

"They do a great job. They get out here as quickly as they can. That's all we can expect," says Tom.

Businesses also took a hit from another day of the ice storm. The Taco Bell in Mineola went dark, twice.

"The store didn't get open til about 10:30," says Stephanie Parker, Taco Bell employee. "Then we had lights 'til about 45 minutes ago and then they flicked off and on, off and on."

East Texas power companies say they won't come out of the cold until your electricity's back on for good.

"We'll survive just like we have in the past," says Pat Nixon.

Dana Dixon reporting.

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