After much anticipation and preparation the citizens of Chambers County felt the effects of now tropical storm Irma roll in around 8 am on Monday morning. With tropical storm warnings looming over the area, everyone was bracing for a substantial impact of wind and rain fall. Many people heard the Topical Storm warning from local emergency management and stocked up on food, flash lights, and gas. County schools, private schools, branches of our local government and many private businesses closed Monday and Tuesday in order to keep children and employees out of harm’s way. Lee county emergency management says we did not over prepare. We were very lucky it could have been another Opal.
Luckily, Irma did not dish out the punch that was anticipated. Low Tropical Storm strength winds blew thru Monday around mid-day and then the storm seemed to fizzled out with our cooler temperatures. Chambers County never received a late night blow of wind as expected. However, we did get our fair share of rain.
Thankfully we just got a small taste of tropical force wind; however it did take its toll on our area. There were many reports of trees down, one falling on a home in LaFayette. Highway 431 was temporarily blocked after a tree fell and snapped poles bringing down the lines. TREC lineman rushed in to clean up the mess and restore power. The city of LaFayette crews were out in weather also dealing with a 100 year old tree that fell behind LaFayette High School blocking roads. Power outages seemed to be the biggest problem. Louie Ward the General Manager of TREC reports:
“As the remnants of Hurricane Irma passed through our service area yesterday, we incurred power outages in all seven counties. At the height of the storm, we had some 7,500 people without power. Through the day, our employees worked tirelessly through the wind and rain. As of 5:00 A.M. this morning we estimate that we still had some 1,500 without power. Beginning the day, we are working throughout the seven counties we serve. Based on information we have early this morning, we anticipate restoring power to all homes able to receive service. With that said, there are some hard to reach locations we were unable to see yesterday. If we find severe damage as we get into these places, it will take us longer to complete restoration.”
Mr. Ward says his men and women have worked tirelessly to restore power and to please pray for their safety.