• June 28, 2016

Weather woes: Storms cause power outages, accidents

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Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 4:30 am

Heavy rains, lightning and thunderstorms caused scattered power outages after rolling through Central Texas on Monday.

According to Oncor, the storm caused fewer than 100 power outages in Killeen, Harker Heights and Copperas Cove.

“We really came out on top,” said Carl Green, a spokesman for Oncor.

The majority of outages took place Monday afternoon in Killeen and Copperas Cove.

Killeen spokeswoman Hilary Shine said no major damage occurred in the city.

Dan Shoemaker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, said Killeen received 1.6 inches of rain at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport and 1.42 inches fell just southwest of Killeen on Monday. Bell County averaged about 2.5 inches of rain on Sunday.

Rain continued through Tuesday with some scattered showers, and a 20 to 30 percent chance of showers continues through today. Following the heavy rains, Belton Lake, which has a capacity of 594 feet, was at 584.4 feet — down 9.6 feet. Stillhouse Hollow Lake, which has a capacity of 622 feet, was at 612.2 feet — down 9.8 feet.

Ronnie Bruggman, who manages the area lakes for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said he’s thankful for what has fallen so far — although it’s not enough yet to bring the lake levels up.

“The rain we’ve received so far is great for the crops and helps to saturate the ground, which will lead to getting us the runoff needed to benefit the lakes,” Bruggman said. “If we get good, hard rain this week, that will help.”

Temple received almost 2 inches of rain over the Memorial Day weekend, and other parts of the county received more than 5 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

“The creek has been up and down a few feet with each small rain event, but there have not been wild swings in elevation or anything approaching flood stage,” Belton spokesman Paul Romer said in reference to Nolan Creek.

The recent rainfall helped some farmers and hindered others this week, Bell County Extension agent Lyle Zoeller said Tuesday.

“Farmers with corn, grain sorghum, hay crops and cotton are benefitting from the rain, but it is interfering with farmers with oats and wheat,” Zoeller said. “Extended moisture will cause mature wheat to sprout in the head, causing some dockage in price when the farmer goes to sell it.”

Area law enforcement agencies and emergency responders were kept busy with accidents Tuesday morning, especially in the Salado area, Salado firefighter A.J. Lopez said.

“The accidents were all on rain-slick roads and caused by people following too close and driving too fast,” Lopez said.

An eight-vehicle accident on northbound Interstate 35 near mile marker 283 closed down the roadway for about two hours.

FME News Service contributed to this report.

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