Strong thunderstorms that swept across East Texas this afternoon knocked down power lines, flooded streets and led to car accidents, authorities said.
AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co. said about 8,000 customers in Gregg County, nearly 1,100 in Upshur County and 300 in Smith County were without power about 6 p.m. It was unclear when power would be restored across the area.
Longview emergency crews were busy at 7 p.m. dealing with downed power lines across the city, officials said. They asked residents to exercise caution while traveling, to avoid downed lines and be on the lookout for street flooding.
The storms that raked the area brought damaging high winds and brief torrential downpours.
The National Weather Service said conditions were right for more storms tonight. In a statement issued about 4:30 p.m., it said isolated thunderstorms with damaging winds are possible. "A few severe storms cannot be ruled out," it said.
Thunderstorms are likely to persist through the night as a cold front and upper-level disturbance approaches the area.
The counties included in the hazardous weather statement are Bowie, Franklin, Titus, Camp, Morris, Cass, Wood, Upshur, Marion, Smith, Gregg, Harrison, Cherokee, Rusk, Panola, Nacogdoches, Shelby, Angelina and San Augustine.
The weather service said the forecast for Labor Day is calling for a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2 p.m. It will be partly sunny and hot, with a high near 97. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon.
The low Monday night will be about 72 degrees.
Check back to news-journal.com for updates.