Thunderstorms may hit Wise


 Alvord, Bridgeport, Chico, Crafton and Greenwood/Slidell fire departments were put on weather watch at 3:35 p.m. Sunday due to a storm west of Chico.

According to the National Weather Service, a strong thunderstorm was 9 miles west of Chico, moving east at 20 mph. Wind gusts up to 65 mph and dime-sized hail are possible with this storm.

Wise County is in a flash flood watch from 7 p.m. Sunday until Monday evening  with heavy rainfall expected this evening and into the overnight hours. Additional rainfall Monday could aggravate and cause additional flash flooding.

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Winter comes to Wise

Winter comes to Wise


A Winter Stroll

A WINTER STROLL – Tiffany Evans, Jeanette Morris and Jesica McEachern brave the cold Friday for lunch in downtown Decatur. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Winter weather descended on Wise County Friday, causing pedestrians on the Decatur square to hurry to their destination and scattering snow over sidewalks, parking lots and lawns.

According to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, temperatures began dipping Thursday night from the day’s high of 35 degrees to 21 degrees Friday morning. It didn’t warm up much during the day, and wind gusts made the air temperature feel like it was in the single digits.

Snow accumulated on some less-traveled streets but didn’t affect overall driving conditions in the county. No weather-related wrecks were reported between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday.

The weather forced several school districts north of Wise County to reschedule or cancel some sporting events Friday night.

It’s expected to be warmer Saturday with temperatures possibly topping out at 40 degrees in the afternoon. Sunday is expected to reach 47 degrees, marking the start of a warming trend that will send temperatures into the low 70s by the end of the week.

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2016 in Review: Mother Nature’s wrath


Mother Natures Wrath

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

While Wise County didn’t see the record rainfall of 2015, 2016 did have its share of weather news.

During the spring, Wise County saw many reports of hail. One of the biggest hail storms was April 11 where hailstones near Alvord ranged from golf ball to baseball size. Several car windows were knocked out in the area on U.S. 81/287. The National Weather Service reported a higher-than-average number of hailstorms as well as larger hailstones.

A week later, heavy rain caused minor flooding issues for Wise County, but 5 to 7 inches of rainfall over a two-day span in Jack County in the Lake Bridgeport watershed once again brought about flooding at Lake Bridgeport and areas south along the West Fork Trinity River. Several roads were forced to close due to flooding.

Flooding returned to Wise County in late May and early June when a slow-moving, low pressure system brought more than 5 1/2 inches of rain to parts of Wise County over the span of a week. As with earlier flooding events, several roads around the county were forced to close.

It was high winds that caused most of the damage associated with a storm in July. More than 2,000 customers briefly lost power during the storm.

Drought conditions began to return in early August as rainfall became more scarce. However, during the latter half of the month, the county received 7.66 inches of rain, including a drought-busting 5.3 inches on Aug. 19.

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Winter weather presents potential safety threats


Chilly

CHILLY – Temperatures dipped into single digits this weekend, delivering a hard freeze to plants and water left outside. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Even though temperatures dipped into the single digits last weekend, Wise County medics weren’t called to any temperature related emergencies, EMS Director Charles Dillard said Tuesday.

“It sounds like everyone took the proper precautions with the cold,” Dillard said. “We were fortunate this weekend.”

Dillard recommended residents ensure their gas or electrical heaters work in advance of expected cold weather. He also stressed the importance of limiting time outside when its especially cold and making sure to wear layers.

The Texas Department of Public Safety also offered the following tips:

  • Check that your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out. If needed, wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers and then use plastic to keep moisture out.
  • Let faucets drip to prevent freezing water lines.
  • Replace batteries in smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Make sure you and your family knows how to shut off the water in case pipes burst. Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch. If pipes burst, always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.
  • Make sure you have basic emergency supplies on hand in preparation for a winter weather event, including a one-week supply of non-perishable food, one gallon of bottled water per person per day and coolers for food and ice storage.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and be cautious with fire. Keep candle flames at least 3 feet away from cardboard, wood and other combustible objects. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets, and extinguish flames before leaving a room or falling asleep.
  • Heavy ice can make tree limbs and trees themselves unstable. Wait until the thaw and call a tree care specialist.

According to the National Weather Service, daily highs are expected to steadily rise to nearly 70 degrees Christmas Day before dropping into the mid 50s next week.

For a full list of cold weather precautions, visit wcmess.com/winterstorm.

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Cool front rolls into Wise


Fall Puddles

FALL PUDDLES – Rain varied in Wise County Friday, with Cottondale measuring 3 inches and Alvord getting 1.1 inches. The rain preceded a brief cool front. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A front brought cooler weather and some rain to Wise County late in the week.

As of 7:30 a.m. Friday, rainfall totals included 3 inches in Cottondale, 2.23 in Rhome, 1.55 in Bridgeport, 1.4 in Decatur and 1.1 in Alvord.

According to the National Weather Service, storms pushed south by mid-morning, skies remain gray with winds of 10 to 15 mph over the afternoon.

Saturday and Sunday are both expected to be warmer and sunny with highs reaching the mid-70s and winds at five miles per hour. Wind direction will gradually shift from the north Saturday to northeast and then east by Sunday.

Next week will see a resurgence in warm temperatures and sunny skies with the high Monday expected to hit the mid-70s. Most of the county will hit the mid-80s by Thursday.

Last year, rainfall records were set in the month of October when two large storms came through Wise County during the last two weekends of the month, dumping 7.93 inches of rain on Decatur.

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What a relief: Rain, cooler temps throughout August


Wave Running

WAVE RUNNING – A runner jogs through a puddle in downtown Decatur. This month citizens enjoyed an unusual break from the August heat with significant rainfall and cooler than normal temperatures. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

August is typically the hottest and one of the driest months for our area.

The month lived up to its billing, but only for the first 12 days, before a dramatic change.

Last month ended up being the second wettest on record, according to local records that date back to 1974.

No rain was recorded for the first 12 days before our area received 1.58 inches of rain on the evening of Aug. 12, according to weather watcher Doyle Green in Decatur.

A week later, on Aug. 19, Decatur received 5.3 inches of rainfall, the highest daily amount since June 17 of last year when Tropical Storm Bill dumped 7.9 inches of rain on the county.

The month ended with 7.66 inches of rain, the most in August since the 9.51 inches recorded in August of 1996. The average rainfall amount for August is 2.4 inches, which is typically the second-driest month after January.

All of the rain helped keep Lake Bridgeport full for the second summer in a row. The month ended with Lake Bridgeport a half-foot above conservation level.

For the year, Wise County has received 34.89 inches of rain.

Seven of the first 12 days of August saw temperatures of 100 or higher, including the highest temperature of the year, 102, recorded on Aug. 11. The high temperature reached at least 97 on each of the first 12 days.

From Aug. 13 to 31, the high temperature never topped 93 and included two days with highs in the 70s.

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Accident forces truck off overpass


BREAKING — A two-car accident forced a Chevrolet pickup truck off of the overpass at the Farm Road 51 and US 287 intersection. One man and two dogs were in the pickup truck, and the man was transported to Wise Regional Health System with injuries unknown at the time of posting. The other car involved was carrying three individuals who were transported from the scene.

 

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Inclement weather causes power outages, dangerous road conditions


Oncor power outage

By Jimmy Alford

jalford@wcmessenger.com

UPDATE: Power was reported restored at about 10:40 p.m. Oncor state a fallen tree was removed and the power line was repaired. Power was out for more than three hours.

Wind speeds over 20 mph and temperatures in the mid 20s caused more than 500 to lose power Wednesday night in Chico.

At about 7:30 p.m., Oncor representative Sabrina Easley said crews were tracking down the cause of the outage. Residents’ power was still listed out as of 10 p.m.

“It’s pretty much affecting the whole town of Chico,” Easley said.

Even Wise County Judge J.D. Clark tweeted his home’s power was out. Other outages were reported in Runaway Bay and Boonsville, but those outages only lasted about half an hour. People can track outages by going to http://stormcenter.oncor.com/default.html.

Roadways began to ice over after 5 p.m. in Wise County, prompting the Bridgeport Fire Department Twitter feed to advise followers that roads were becoming slick. An 18-wheeler was reported jackknifed around 8 p.m., according to the same Twitter feed. To check road conditions, go to http://www.drivetexas.org or call TxDOT at 1-800-452-9292.

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