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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Storms cause complications

More than 950 Bryan residents were without power for up to an hour and a half Tuesday night after a line of strong thunderstorms pushed through the Bryan-College Station area, said Bob Wheeler, Bryan Utilities spokesman.
“One of the outages was caused when a tree fell on top of a power line,” he said. “All crews dispatched immediately, and now everything is back to normal.”
Wheeler said no other major problems were reported in Bryan.
Tuesday night’s storms caused only two houses in College Station to lose power, said Augie Palmisano, College Station Utility dispatch operations superintendent.
“There were only four or five people affected,” he said.
Although few residents lost power in College Station, the fierce storm and lightning it produced sparked a fire at the Doux Chene Apartment, off Harvey Mitchell Parkway. No injuries were reported from the fire.
Bart Humphreys, public information officer for the College Station Fire Department, said there was intense lightning in the area at the time of the fire, but the fire department wanted to rule out any accidental causes.
“We determined it was weather-related, a lightning strike,” he said. “There was physical evidence and hot patterns where the fire was at, plus we had plenty of witnesses say they thought (the lightning) hit them (the apartments).”
The fire began in an upstairs apartment and then spread to a second unit, Humphreys said.
Graduate student Stan Glagolenko said he was doing homework when he heard a loud bang.
“Everything just shut down,” he said.
No one in the one-bedroom where the fire started apartment was home at the time of the fire, but Adrienne Bailey, the apartment manager, said she has contacted the residents and they have arranged for places to stay.
“I wanted to make sure everyone was OK and to get everything taken care of,” she said.
Bailey said the insurance company has been contacted and is assessing the damage. The completion date for the apartment repair is unknown at this time.
Humphreys said the fire department responded to 10 weather-related calls between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m Tuesday night.
Fires caused by lightning are uncommon in College Station, Humphreys said.
“It is what insurance companies call ‘acts of God,'” he said.

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