HometownBell County

Actions

Eastern Bell County hit hard by arctic blast

Power Worker.png
Posted at 11:17 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-13 00:28:48-05

HOLLAND, Texas — More than half the population of the town of Holland was still without power Friday afternoon after dozens of trees fell on power lines during Thursday night's winter storm.

According to ONCOR's power outage map, 964 outages were recorded in the area in and surrounding the small town. Holland's total population is close to 1,500 people, according to U.S. Census estimates.

"It's probably the worst I've ever seen in my lifetime," Holland Police Chief Shawn Newsom said. "We have huge 100-year oak trees coming down, and they're taking power lines, cable lines, everything with 'em."

Holland's volunteer fire department posted on Facebook late Thursday night it had already responded to more than 20 calls as a result of the winter storm. In a typical day, they only respond to one or two.

Newsom told 25 News he had spent the day going door-to-door and checking on the town's oldest residents.

"I left one lady's house who's 90 and lives by herself. I made sure she had food, water, electricity and heat," he said.

Dozens of power crews descended on the small town. One of them set up shop outside the house of Danny Jett, where a more than 50-year-old tree had fallen, knocking over a power pole.

Holland Power Crews
Crews repair a downed power line in Holland, Texas. More than half of the people living in Holland were still without power Friday afternoon.

Jett said they lost power early Thursday afternoon. One day later, they had not seen any electricity.

"I have never seen anything like this here, never in my life," Jett said.

The damage was widespread across town. In at least two spots, sagging trees made neighborhood roads impassable.

Holland Roads
Trees drape over the roadway on W Travis Street in Holland, Texas. Hundreds of trees suffered major damage as a result of the winter storm.

To help those still without power, Holland ISD opened its cafeteria as a warming center. Those without running water could use the field house for showers.

"You solve the problem at hand," Holland ISD Superintendent Shane Downing said. "Right now, it's trying to stay warm and make sure the people have food."

Holland Field
Ice covers a field along Highway 2268 in Holland, Texas. Emergency crews responded to dozens of service calls as a result of ice on county roads.

Holland ISD canceled school Friday because of the weather. Parents of elementary and middle school students were asked to pick up at-home learning packets in the afternoon.

With more ice and snow in the forecast for the next few days, Downing says he is unsure when students may be able to return to class.

"Obviously, we're gonna try to get a little education in if possible," he said. "But that's secondary. We're really just concerned with keeping people warm and making sure their necessities are taken care of."

Newsom urges anyone in need of assistance in the area to dial 911 and let emergency services know your situation.