Intense thunderstorms from the northwest that crossed Henderson County early on Thursday caused a few problems with power outages and downed trees, but it wasn't as bad as Smith County.
“Most of our issues were over in Tyler,” said Oncor Customer Operations Executive Tom Trimble. “Athens did really well. A lot of our issues were with straight-line winds coming through.”
The National Weather Service reported a thunderstorm with heavy rain roared through Athens around 2:15 a.m. Wind gusts as high as 36 miles per hour accompanied the storm. The total rainfall was only 0.39 inches during the storm. Light rain had fallen earlier in the evening. The total for the 24-hour period that ended at 9 a.m. on Thursday was 0.92 inches.
“We had a few outages down at Willow Springs,” Trimble said. “Athens did a good job of keeping the lights on. The last I saw, there were less than 20 people with their lights out.”
Oncor totaled about 3,000 outages in Trimble's Palestine-based area,
According to some reports, a few were without power in the Cross Roads area and more than 100 were without electricity around Cayuga, mostly served by Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative. The storm left about 1,800 members without power.
The area around Brownsboro was particularly hard hit, as well as areas south and southeast of Athens.
Henderson County Precinct 3 Commissioner Chuck McHam reported that several trees were down on Thursday morning. His workers were clearing them from roads during the morning hours.
North of Henderson County, in the Lake Tawakoni area, about 400 were without power.
By 10 a.m. on Thursday, the power outages had shrunk to about 70.
According to TVEC, power outages can develop after the storm has passed when limbs damaged from high winds break loose and fall on electrical lines.
The recent storms are just the beginning of the season that annually produces the most rain and severe weather to Henderson County.
About midnight, Texas Storm Chasers reported that an unstable airmass redeveloped and began moving much more rapidly than expected over North Texas and East Texas. They went from nothing to a “solid squall line” in about 20 minutes.
The Associated Press reported that a late winter storm brought flooding, blizzards and a tornado across more than 25 states, including Texas, on Wednesday. In North Texas, severe thunderstorms damaged buildings and flipped over small planes at an airport.
National Weather Service forecasts predict little to no chance of rain throughout the weekend, with high temperatures in the 60s.