As Friday night calmed down into a chilly Saturday morning, Marshall had dodged a bullet with little to no damage to report from Friday night’s severe weather.
In Marshall shortly after midnight, early Saturday morning outdoor warning sirens were activated on three separate occasions when rotations were radar indicated by the National Weather Service. No funnels were spotted for Marshall.
Other portions of Texas and Louisiana were not so lucky.
Two tornadoes touched down, according to Charlie Woodrum, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Shreveport.
An EF1 tornado was confirmed in Natchitoches, La. and an EF2 tornado was confirmed as it hopped over 40 miles through Bossier, Webster and Claiborne Parishes in Lousiana.
Four fatalities and one injury so far have been reported with these two tornadoes.
Damage survey crews would be out in both Gregg and Rusk Counties to see if damage could be the result of additional tornadoes or were the product of 100 mph gusts from straight line winds, Woodrum said.
A lot of wind damage resulting in serious power outages was reported near Lindale, Jefferson and Karnack.
According to information from SWEPCO, at the peak, about 29,300 customers were without power.
As of 3 p.m. Saturday, approximately 12,500 customers remained without power. SWEPCO said they were working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to about 9,800 customers in Louisiana and 2,700 customers in Texas. Power is expected to be restored to all Arkansas customers by 4 p.m. Saturday.
Residents were urged to call SWEPCO immediately at 1-888-218-3919 to report downed wires, poles and other safety hazards.
“No matter how harmless a wire looks, never touch it, or go near it. It could be energized,” Tony Rash, SWEPCO’s safety & health manager said. “Stay away and keep others away, especially children and pets.”
Power is expected to be restored to 95% of customers who can receive power by:
■ Shreveport – 10 p.m. Sunday
■ Bossier City – 10 p.m. Sunday
■ Benton – 10 p.m. Sunday
■ Haughton – 10 p.m. Sunday
■ Hornbeck – 8 p.m. Saturday
■ Mansfield – 6 p.m. Saturday
■ Natchitoches – 10 p.m. Saturday
■ Vivian – 10 p.m. Sunday
■ Carthage – 10 p.m. Saturday
■ Henderson – 9 p.m. Saturday
■ Kilgore – 9 p.m. Saturday
■ Longview – 10 p.m. Saturday
■ Marshall – 10 p.m. Saturday
■ Mineola – 10 p.m. Saturday
Customers can receive an email or text message with the latest info for their home or business by signing up for alerts at SWEPCO.com/Alerts.
Nearly 400 additional line and tree personnel are helping SWEPCO employees restore power, including line mechanics from SWEPCO’s sister utility Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO).
Extensive damage has been reported in Benton and Haughton in Louisiana, and Kilgore and Longview.