Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

December 21, 2012

Flurry of hard wind gusts makes for a blustery day

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — If you woke up in Jacksonville or Cherokee County this morning, odds are your vehicle was lightly covered  by red clay.

This was one of the regional after-effects – red clay being a mainstay of East Texas – of the wind gusts that carried as high as 35 mph in this and other areas of East and Northeast Texas and as far away as Northwest Louisiana, the National Weather Service reported.

ONCOR reported that the winds had an immense impact.

"At the height of the storm, we had 15,000 to 16,000 customers without power in East Texas," said Charles Hill, Oncor's regional customer operations manager. "At this point (about 4:40 p.m. Thursday) we are down to about 6,000 to 7,000 customers out. This is a very large number and it was all wind related. Wind and trees."

The NWS reported "very windy conditions expected across the region today" on its website earlier in the day Thursday, as well as "north to northwest wends of 15 to 25 mph with gusts as high as 35 mph."

The wind advisory was set to expire at 6 p.m. Thursday but boaters were nonetheless advised to use caution in open water on area lakes.