Winter Storm Landon lashed out at Wise County Wednesday evening into Thursday morning, bringing multiple inches of snow and bone-chilling cold.
More than two inches of snow fell in the county by 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning. There was one report to the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth of 2.5 inches.
The snow fell after the county was pelted by freezing rain and sleet Wednesday evening. Oncor and the City of Bridgeport reported power outages.
More than 500 customers near Lake Bridgeport were without power from 9 p.m. until shortly after 5 a.m., as a result of three large trees falling into power lines.
“After locating the trees, vegetation management crews were called in to begin cutting the trees out of the line so that the wire could be reinstalled on the pole. Treacherous road conditions and the off-road locations of the trees slowed down restoration efforts,” said Oncor Area Manager Sabrina Easley.
By 6 a.m., Easley said the county had no outages.
In Bridgeport Wednesday evening, a transformer caught fire on Texas 114 near Halsell Street, knocking out power to the west side of the city. Crews were quickly able to make repairs and have power restored in two hours.
The frozen precipitation made roadways throughout the county slick. The major thoroughfares, including U.S. 81/287 and U.S. 380, were treated before the storm by Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) crews.
Few people ventured out on the roads Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, with all schools, county offices and many businesses closed due to the weather and road conditions (see list of closures at wcmessenger.com).
Between 3 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. Thursday, nine accidents were reported to the Wise County Sheriff’s Office dispatch, according to Chief Deputy Craig Johnson.
First responders performed a rescue Wednesday evening when a 2021 Infiniti went off a bridge on County Road 4757 into the West Fork of the Trinity River. A swift water tech from the Wise County EMS went into the water to pull the driver, Brandon Bushow, 21, of Fort Worth, from the submerged vehicle. A passenger in the vehicle, Bailey Cross, 23, of Fort Worth, was pulled from the water by a passerby. Both occupants of the vehicle were transported to Wise Health System in Decatur.
An accident involving a truck and tractor trailer closed the northbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 at the Farm Road 1655 exit Wednesday evening in Alvord.
Along with the snow and sleet, temperatures fell sharply from the 50s Wednesday morning to 18 by 9:15 a.m. Thursday morning. With the north wind around 10 mph, the wind chill was 10.
The cold is not going away. The forecasted highs Friday are not expected to reach 32 degrees. The low Friday night is expected to be in the single digits.
“It’s going to be a chilly next couple of days,” said Allison Prater, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth. “The wind chill Friday will be below 0 and Saturday morning the temperature will be in the single digits and wind chill the low single digits. Saturday’s highs will be above freezing and there will be more melting of precipitation, but it will be back below freezing Saturday night.”