BEEVILLE – Residents were almost faced with a similar situation Tuesday night as they were on Friday, but a last-minute change in the weather limited the amount of ice that would accumulate on the roads, bridges and trees.
Forecasters this past weekend were predicting a wintry mix of ice and rain on Monday and Tuesday night.
By Tuesday morning, the chances of rain had diminished. Still, Beeville ISD delayed starting classes as did St. Mary’s Academy Charter School and Coastal Bend College Wednesday morning.
On Friday morning, about 20,650 customers throughout AEP Texas’ 97,000-square-mile service area in South and West Texas were without power due to the cold front that swept through the area Thursday night.
“Damage to our electrical system appears to be minimal, and this will help us restore power more quickly throughout the day,” Bruce Evans, AEP Texas vice president of electric distribution, said on Friday. “We realize customers are greatly inconvenienced by these outages, but we are working as quickly as possible to restore power.”
Additional crews were brought in to repair the damage done by the storm.
In Beeville, 1,833 customers lost power.
By noon, the number of people areawide without power had been reduced to 7,238. Around 800 homes and businesses in Beeville had their power restored by that time and crews were hopeful to have the remaining back up by that evening.
Andy Heines, spokesman for the company, confirmed that it was indeed high winds, freezing rain and trees that were the culprits for most of the outages.
During the height of the storm, the city of Beeville sent out a special notice asking residents to conserve water because of the outage.
Beeville ISD schools delayed opening Friday morning until 10 o’clock. When the loss of power blacked out Jones High School, school officials cancelled classes that morning.
Pettus also canceled classes Friday, as did the college.
The college’s website also went down because of the power outage.
Texas Department of Transportation officials had been warning of possible ice on highway bridges since that Thursday night, and Bee County officials took advantage of the Blackboard Connect network to notify all county residents of possible hazardous driving conditions.
Residents were told that the Emergency Operations Center at the county’s Justice Building was partially manned beginning in the early morning hours.
Just to the east, the city of Goliad was tackling its own problem — a citywide blackout.
Throughout Goliad County, 1,003 American Electric Power customers lost power, including many in the city, at about 4:20 a.m. when a fallen tree limb weighed down by ice snapped a power line at the intersection of Pearl and Temple streets.
All Goliad ISD classes were canceled due to hazardous traveling conditions and a lack of power on all campuses. Traffic signals were out the entire morning.
Power was restored by 3 p.m.
All of this wintry weather is thanks to an arctic front making its way south and into Mexico, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures the rest of the week should increase. This weekend, at least for now, is shaping up, with lows in the upper 50s and highs in the 70s and 80s.