Officials: No major damage, injuries after Beryl moves through Smith County (2024)

Tropical Storm Beryl barreled through East Texas on Monday, resulting in tornadic activity and heavy rainfall that caused thousands of power outages and some flooding.

No injuries or major damage was reported in Smith County, officials said.

Tornado warnings were in effect for hours Monday afternoon as Beryl, which made landfall on the South Texas coast that morning, moved through East Texas. Areas of tornadic rotation were reported across the region, and tornadoes were confirmed in some areas in Texas.

Beryl was classified as a hurricane initially but was downgraded to a tropical storm. CBS19 Chief Meteorologist Brett Anthony said Tyler saw high winds of up to 45 mph Monday, while Longview saw a high wind speed of 39 mph.

A large and dangerous radar-indicated tornado was spotted in the Tatum area that afternoon, the Marshall News-Messenger reported. Tornadic rotation was reported near Hallsville, CBS19 reported.

Flood warnings and watches also were in effect amid heavy rainfall.

Power outages were reported across the region. Nearly 4,000 Oncor customers in Smith County were without power as of 6 p.m. Monday.

The National Weather Service in Shreveport forecast that East Texas could receive between 4 and 6 inches of rain through Tuesday. The storm system is expected to have cleared the region by then. In Smith County, at least 4.25 inches of rain had fallen in the last 24 hours as of 6 p.m. Monday, according to Smith County Emergency Management.

Tropical Storm Beryl left more than 2 million people in the Houston area without power and caused widespread flooding and damage in South Texas. Four deaths were reported as of Monday afternoon, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Several East Texas counties were included in a disaster declaration issued by Acting Gov. Dan Patrick, who has assumed the role while Gov. Greg Abbott is in Taiwan on an economic development trip.

Smith County

Smith County Emergency Management Coordinator Brandon Moore said some wrecks had occurred in Smith County, and weather could have been a contributing factor. However, no other weather-related injuries or weather-related severe damage was reported.

Overall, the impact of the storm was less severe than expected, Moore said.

“There’s been some trees come down, but nothing like we saw end of May, first of June,” Moore said Monday afternoon.

Moore urged drivers not to drive into high water.

An afternoon flight into the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport was canceled, but flights later in the day were scheduled to arrive, according to the airport website.

Gregg County

No tornadoes were confirmed to have touched down in Gregg County, but tornadic rotations were confirmed, said Gregg County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Craig Harrington.

Flooding was reported on roadways in Gregg County on Monday afternoon, and some trees had fallen. No major road closures were in effect, Harrington said.

Heavy rainfall could cause flooding in the coming days, and drivers who see water covering a roadway should turn around and find an alternate route, Harrington said.

“If you don’t need to be on the roads driving, stay off the roads,” Harrington said.

The East Texas Regional Airport in Longview was closed Monday afternoon after high winds littered the airport with debris and caused some minor damage to structures. An afternoon American Airlines flight from the Dallas-Fort Worth area was canceled, Airport Director Max Tovar said.

The City of Longview suspended bus service because of inclement weather.

Power outages in region

East Texas utility providers reported thousands of power outages Monday afternoon following the storm system’s arrival in the region, and customers should be prepared to be without power for an extended period of time.

Smith County utility provider Oncor reported that more than 3,900 customers in Smith County were without power that afternoon. The utility reported more than 3,700 outages in Anderson County and more than 2,500 in Cherokee County. Nearly 60 outages were in Henderson County, and about 70 were in Rusk County.

Cherokee County Electric Co-op Association also had reported over 300 outages as of Monday at 6 p.m.

The Southwestern Electric Power Co. reported that more than 36,000 customers were without power throughout Northeast Texas, Southwest Arkansas and Northwest Louisiana. The company also said the number of outages could grow. SWEPCO serves Gregg, Harrison, Upshur, Rusk, Marion, Wood and Panola counties, among others.

— Jordan Green is a Report for America corps member reporting for the Tyler Morning Telegraph and Longview News-Journal. Reach him at jgreen@news-journal.com

Officials: No major damage, injuries after Beryl moves through Smith County (2024)
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