Ike inconveniences thousands in Panola County, TX

By Katrina Webber - email | bio

PANOLA COUNTY, TX (KSLA) - For thousands of east Texas residents, Hurricane Ike has added up to inconveniences in their homes and on their roads.

At one point Saturday, nearly 1500 residents of Panola County had no electricity in their homes or businesses.

 The outages, according to Sheriff's Office personnel, were scattered throughout the county, but many were concentrated within the Carthage city limits.  Most of those, they say, had to do with trees that had fallen onto power lines.

I heard a big crash and I didn't know what had happened," said Vicky Dickerson, who lives on Forrest Lane in Carthage. 

Dickerson and her granddaughter ventured outside to explore the source of the noise and found a crew with the city's sanitation department busy at work cutting up tree limbs with a chain saw.

Over near the Gary section of Panola County, a shelter full of evacuees from Beaumont, TX, also had to rough it without electricity.

More than 250 people who thought they were leaving Ike behind found trouble had followed them.

Managers of the Daniel Springs Baptist Camp say power to the makeshift shelter went out around 9:00 a. m.   Nearly eight hours later, they were still trying to hook up generators to the facility.

"Air conditioning, all of our cooking, our walk-in freezers, our ice machines," said James Speer, listing all of the areas affected by the outage.

Meanwhile, a group of children sat around singing songs to the sounds of Elias Ibarra's guitar.  Ibarra said they had to entertain themselves after the lights went out.

"We got bored.  We kinda got stuck in the cafeteria here, so I...started playing a few tunes," he said.

Emergency preparedness officials say despite the trouble, they had no injuries or deaths reported due to the storm.