A Better East Texas: Ice storm response

Better East Texas: Ice Storm response warms the heart
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 5:20 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV/KTRE) - The recent ice storm packed quite a punch for many in East Texas. If you live east of a line from Tyler to Lufkin, you may have been less affected, but you certainly saw the images of what was happening in the areas hit hardest.

While ice accumulations weren’t that significant, the fact that so many trees were brittle from the summer heat caused huge limbs and tress to collapse. And now, more than a week later, the evidence of the storm is still widespread.

At one point 30-percent of the homes in Smith County were without power. When you do the math, that was almost 100,000 people without power. Thankfully, many support services were prepared to move into action. There were as many as 2,000 out-of-market responders that swarmed the area with bucket trucks, working in the frigid temps to get power lines up and functional. Marry that with the response of cities and counties that mobilized to clean roadways, parks and other public areas. And then the East Texas Food Bank and churches and other sheltering groups that provided food and warming centers that gave comfort and provision during the recovery.

Many of us weren’t’ impacted by all of these, but we most likely were impacted by some. And it warms the heart to see groups that could have sat by, waiting on some official directive before acting, that ran towards the proverbial fire to help their neighbors. It is meaningful and most certainly makes for a Better East Texas.