Storms Leave Winona Residents And Businesses Without Power

Around 11 pm Wednesday night a powerful storm system swept through Winona. "It sounded like a freight train through Winona," said Smith County Justice of the Peace Mike Shamburger. "Trees came down, power lines down, we've got a big tree on top of our building here."
  Wednesday morning, the small community came out to survey the damage.  Power lines still dangled in streets and yards. The city still without power hours after the storm had passed.
"A lot of businesses like my own we've got no power, no phones, and no computer," said Shamburger. "So it really shuts us down."
  At the Courtesy Mart just off of Highway 155, the ice cream melted and the milk began to slowly spoil in the freezers and refrigerators.
  For store employee Toni Wood, it was a slow day behind the counter.
  "We can't sell gas, we can't sell lottery, it's not been quite as busy, our kitchen is closed," she said. 
Unable to provide customers with service, the power outage is costly for businesses.
  "We're not taking in near as much as we would," Toni said. "It's really slowed us down a lot."
In the residential areas, people took advantage of the clear weather to pick up debris lying in their yards. Absent from the normal neighborhood noise was the hum of air conditioners. With no power, residents were left to sweat it out in the humid air with temperatures reaching almost 90 degrees.      "We've got all of the windows open, it's all we can do really," said Winona resident Ryan Cole. "It's all we have. It ain't helping that much, but at least it's not burning up in there."
It'll still be at least another day without power for those residents.
  Swepco, the communities power suppliers says crews are working to have all of it's East Texas customers' power restored by 5 pm Friday.

Story by Maya Golden,