2013-01-03 / Front Page

Lindale residents receive White Christmas gift

A Christmas Day winter storm left a beautiful white landscape for Lindale residents to enjoy. A Christmas Day winter storm left a beautiful white landscape for Lindale residents to enjoy. Many East Texas youngsters – and some adults -- have dreamed of having a white Christmas.

This year their dreams came true.

A rainy Christmas morning turned into a windy early afternoon before the snow began falling just after 4 p.m.

Big flakes gave way to even bigger flakes and by 6 p.m., trees, yards and roadways were wearing a white, wintry blanket.

This rare weather event didn’t arrive without a downside however, as the high winds and thunderstorms knocked out power across the region and snarled traffic on area roadways.

While some areas received at least one to two inches of snow, areas to the north of Lindale had heavier accumulations.

Even though temperatures remained below freezing the day after Christmas, steady sunshine began to melt most of the accumulations in Lindale.

Department of Public Safety officials were busy working several accidents attributed to the slick conditions, especially on Interstate 20 which was crowded with holiday travelers.

Some 20,000 people across East and Central Texas were left without power because of the winter blast. The Houston area experienced power outages to an estimated 20,000 people as well.

Oncor officials said high winds caused approximately 1,500 people across East Texas to be without power. Also, an additional 5,000 were in the dark in Lufkin and Nacogdoches.

National Weather Services officials reported at least two tornadoes touching down in Trinity and Houston counties.

Initial reports were that no one had been injured, but at least one building in Crockett had been damaged. Beaumont police said a resident reported seeing a tornado touchdown in the north end of the city later in the day on Christmas. The twister did not cause any damage. By mid-afternoon Christmas Day, the tornado and thunderstorm warnings had ended as the storm system moved into Louisiana.

But as the cold front dipped southward, heavy snow began to fall in North Texas, including in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Freezing temperatures were even forecast for parts of deep South Texas by nightfall. Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Gilliland said a 25-year-old man died after winds knocked a tree onto his Ford F-150 pickup truck about 9:40 a.m. The incident happened in northwest Harris County, he said. The storms developed as a cold front collided with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico. “That’s what it takes is that contrast between the cold very dry air and the warm moist air that is readily available or at least never far away from the Texas Gulf Coast,” Carbin said.

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