School closures, roads blocked, power outages reported after storms

Over 42,000 East Texans left without power after storms damage power lines, down trees

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Utility crews are working to restore power for thousands of East Texans after powerful storms moved through the region Wednesday. Outages, downed trees, and road closures are also forcing several school districts to close or delay the start of classes Thursday.

School Closures and Delays:

  • Little Eagle Child Development Center will open at 9 a.m. Thursday.
  • Jordan Country Day School in Longview will be closed Thursday due to lack of power.
  • East Texas Charter School in Longview will be closed Thursday due to lack of power.
  • Oak Forest Montessori School in Longview will be closed on Thursday due to lack of power.
  • Sunshine Friends Preschool in Van will have a delayed opening Thursday at 9 a.m.
  • SeeSaw Children’s Place Preschool and Fairmont Afterschool (1450 W. Fairmont and 1601 W. Fairmont) will be closed on Thursday.
  • Happy Hippo on West Marshall in Longview will be closed Thursday.
  • Noah’s Ark Learning Center on Alpine Road in Longview will open at 10 a.m.
  • Pine Tree ISD will not have school on Thursday. Classes will resume on Friday.
  • Winnsboro ISD said all campuses will be closed on Thursday.
  • Gladewater ISD will be closed Thursday due to ongoing power outages.
  • Quitman ISD has canceled classes for Thursday.
  • Elysian Fields ISD has canceled classes Thursday due to flooded roads.
  • Big Sandy ISD will have a delayed start on Thursday due to downed trees on country roads, water collection on the roadways and some electricity outages. Classes will begin at 10:30 a.m.
WEATHER WATCH: School closures, roads blocked, power outages reported amid storms
  • LeTourneau University: All finals scheduled after 3 p.m. Wednesday have been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday.
  • Longview ISD said that an announcement will be made shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday with regard to whether power is on at school. They will post this information on Facebook.
  • Marshall ISD: Due to damage and flooding in the area from Wednesday’s storms and the possibility of more heavy rain overnight, Marshall ISD will have a delayed start to the school day Thursday. MHS, MJHS and DAEP will begin at 9:30 am. WECC and all K-5 campuses will have a 10 am start. WECC A.M. students will be welcome to stay for the afternoon session as well on Thursday. Buses will run two hours later than normal schedule, so bus riders will be picked up approximately two hours later than their regular time. All district employees are to report to work by 9 am. Employees who work in Transportation or Child Nutrition, please contact your supervisor for further instructions.
  • Union Grove ISD will remain closed on Thursday for all campuses. Power is not expected to be restored to the schools in time for a school day.
  • Harmony ISD: Teachers report at 9, students 10, buses running two hours later than usual time.
  • Union Hill ISD: School will be delayed until 10:00 in the morning. Buses will run two hours later than normal so that it will be full daylight and our drivers can assess roads for safety.
  • Van ISD: 2 hour delay start time Thursday morning.
  • Carthage ISD: The following buses may be delayed Thursday morning due to flooded roads: 7, 10, 12, 13, 16, 23, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, HC3, HC4, HC5. Check the district’s Facebook page.

Also, Texas Oncology in Longview will have a delayed opening time of 12 p.m. Noon on Thursday due to power outage.

Damages and Flooding

WEATHER WATCH: School closures, roads blocked, power outages reported amid storms

The steeple of Oakland Heights Baptist Church, located in the corner of Eden Drive and Judson Road, was blown over during the storms.

All Wednesday services have been cancelled at the church.

VIDEO: Storm damages church steeple in Longview

Downed power lines and trees have been reported throughout Longview, including along Judson Road. There are also reports of damage to homes in the area.

WEBXTRA: More storm damage in area of Gilmer Road, Fairmont Street in Longview

Harrison County have received multiple reports of heavy storm damage throughout the county. Harrison County Chief Deputy BJ Fletcher said areas in the west side of Longview, including Harleton and Woodlawn, have reports of downed trees and storm damage.

There are also reports of several fires possibly caused by lightning strikes and downed power lines throughout Harrison County, according to Fletcher.

“We are still taking calls and trying to account for the damage,” said Fletcher.

The City of Longview asks residents to refrain from calling 911 unless you are reporting a “true emergency requiring immediate police, fire, or EMS response." Crews are aware of downed trees and power lines and are working to clear roadways.

Several trees are down along the Paul G. Boorman Trail near the Fairmont Street trailhead. The trail is closed until further notice.

Wind damage was reported at the Potbelly Pig Sanctuary on Oinkin Oasis-Forever in Gilmer. No injuries were reported to the animals or to people.

Longview Regional Medical Center released the following statement stating medical care is still being providing during the storms:

“Patients are receiving medical care at Longview Medical Center in the midst of today’s storms,” CEO Casey Robertson said. “The hospital team regularly drills to prepare for unexpected events such as severe weather. Our back-up generators ensure power is sustained and patients have been moved away from windows to keep them safe. We are monitoring the weather conditions and in communication with local emergency management and first responders. We remain available to take care of our patients and the community as needed.”

Local agencies’ response

KILGORE:

Kilgore PD says their emergency 911 lines are currently not working. Please call 903-983-1559 if you have an emergency. “We will try to respond to Facebook messages as we can. We will let you know when they are back up," they posted on their Facebook page.

SMITH COUNTY:

Smith County Communications personnel say they have been answering numerous calls of trees down and utility problems throughout the county. Smith County Road and Bridge, Volunteer Fire Departments, TxDOT and Oncor have all been notified and are working on downed trees, utility problems, and road hazards, the Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office reported. These departments and entities are continuously checking roadways for damage throughout the weather systems affecting the area. Smith County Engineer Frank Davis said Road and Bridge crews were responding immediately to clear downed trees so any road closures would be temporary.

The Smith County Office of Emergency Management is and will continue to monitor the weather system and any future systems as they occur in the upcoming days. According to National Weather Service-Shreveport, the area has more rain and possible storms headed into the weekend.

The Fire Marshal’s Office encourages residents to consult their local weather stations and NWS- Shreveport for future watches and warnings.

During these storms, please travel with caution. If you encounter rushing water over the roadway, do not attempt to drive through it. Even a few inches of rushing water can cause vehicles to be swept off the roadway. Drivers are urged to find a safer, alternate route. Make sure to heed all road signs and road closures, as they could be a result of potential sinkholes, downed trees, downed power lines or road failures.

To report trees down or utility damage, please call Smith County Communications at 903-566-6600. If it is a life threatening event, please dial 9-1-1.

PALESTINE:

The Palestine Police Department said their 911 systems are currently down. They are working as quickly as they can to get it back up. They say that if residents must contact emergency responders they should call 903-729-2254.

Road closures

TxDOT reported the following road closures at 8:45 p.m. Wednesday. Updated road conditions and traffic updates available on www.DriveTexas.org.

GREGG COUNTY:

  • SH 135 – NB and SB closed at FM 2207 in Gladewater due to water over the road. Do not drive around barricades. Caution advised as this location typically floods and recedes several times before it’s totally clear of water.

VAN ZANDT COUNTY:

  • FM 859 – NB and SB closed at FM 1395 due to flooding

WOOD COUNTY:

  • FM 49 – Water over the road between FM 312 and FM 2869
  • FM 69 – Closed both directions between FM 515 and SH 37
  • FM 779 – Closed both directions between SH 37 and US 69
  • FM 515 – Closed both directions between FM 1643 and SH 37
  • FM 1804 – Closed both directions between US 69 and US 80
  • FM 2088 – Closed both directions between FM 312 and FM 2869
  • Crews are repairing a washout on FM 312 between FM 2088 and FM 515

LONGVIEW:

The City of Longview is reporting many downed trees and power lines blocking roads. Residents are urged to say indoors. Downed power lines have been reported throughout Judson Road.

Other intersections without actively working lights as of 6 a.m. Wednesday:

  • Fisher Road at W. Marshall Ave
  • McCann Rd. at Fairmont St
  • Judson Rd/H G Mosley Pkwy
  • H G Mosley/McCann Rd
  • Eastman Rd/Eden Dr/Tryon
  • Gilmer Rd/Hawkins Pkwy
  • H G Mosley Pkwy/W Marshall
  • Eastman Rd/Hollybrook Dr.
  • As of 7 a.m., Fairmont is closed between McCann and Bill Owens Parkway while crews remove a downed tree.
  • There are several trees down on Bill Owens Parkway near Lois Jackson Park. Police are blocking Bill Owens until it is cleared.
WEBXTRA: Trees down on Bill Owens Prkwy in Longview; traffic blocked on Bill Owens, Fairmont Street

The City of Longview is also asking residents to avoid Fourth Street from LeDuke Boulevard and Eden Drive, McCann Road from Fairmont Street to Montclair Street and H.G. Mosely Parkway at Marshall Avenue.

Several traffic signals are out throughout the town. Police ask motorists to watch out for these intersections and treat them as four-way stops.

Gladewater is reporting flooding in the roadways and downed trees. Highway 135 is closed off at FM 2207 due to water on the roadway.

Southbound traffic on Highway 271, south of I-20, in Smith County is shut down as crews work to clear a downed tree from the roadway.

As of 5:45 a.m., the traffic lights on Gentry Parkway and Glenwood Boulevard are flashing red in three directions, and the southbound light is completely out. Use caution approaching the intersection.

The White Oak Police Department is reporting southbound traffic on White Oak Road, just south of Whatley, has two lanes blocked by a tree. Pearson Road is blocked from Old Highway 80 to Cottonwood. Whatley Road blocked from Old Highway 80 to Person. North Whatley blocked from Tuttle to Robin Lane.

WEBXTRA: Downed tree blocks southbound traffic on Highway 271 in Smith County

HENDERSON COUNTY:

The Palestine Police Department is reporting several roads are closed due to flooding.

  • Memory Lane from Southview to Old Elkhart
  • Fulton between Broyles and Burrkitt
  • Cook Street
  • Dorrance Street
  • Saltworks Road
  • East Brazos Street at Hood Street
  • CR 3817 and CR 3907 are flooded, according to North 19 Fire and Rescue.

RAINS COUNTY:

  • CR 2250
  • 3425/ FM 2181
  • 47 at Woolsey
  • 515 at Brookshires
  • South First Point
  • 514 by Richland. Water was reported over the road.
  • FM 2324
  • FM 514 at FM 275
  • CR 1320
  • CR 1325
  • CR 1315
  • CR 4269
  • CR 1610
  • CR 1605
  • FM 513
  • CR 3330
  • CR 4261
  • CR 1150 (BOTH SIDES)

Power outages

The City of Longview is reporting power outages are affecting city offices and building including the following:

  • Longview City Hall
  • Longview Public Library
  • Longview Development Services
  • Longview Community Services
  • Human Resources
  • Partners in Prevention
  • The Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Longview Public Works
  • Longview Fire Department Administration
  • CityView Municipal Television

The Tyler Pounds Regional Airport and the Water Utilities Service Center were without power during Wednesday’s storm. The City of Tyler reported that about 1:15 p.m. the airport and service center lost power. Power was restored to the airport at 3:15 p.m. but was lost again just before 5 p.m.

Elkhart ISD’s power was out for about 20 minutes Wednesday afternoon. However, the power has been restored, and a post on the school district’s Facebook page stated that they will dismiss at their regularly scheduled time.

“All staff and students are safe,” the Facebook post stated.

Upshur Rural Electric reported several transmission lines were affected by storms. They are currently working on transmission restoration and downed powered line.

Check power outage maps for your area

Wondering when you can expect your power to be restored? Check the maps below and reported outages as of 3:15 a.m. Thursday.

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