A historic weather event with hail, strong winds and heavy rains made its way across Bossier Parish on Friday night. Especially hard hit were Benton, North Bossier City and Haughton. The storm produced widespread hail which pounded and pummeled parts of Bossier Parish. Hail ranging in size from quarter size to baseball size has been reported. Local meteorologists indicate that hail of this size and a hail storm of this magnitude is a rare occurrence in our area. Strong winds estimated to have reached 60 to 80 miles per hour accompanied the storm system as it quickly moved across Bossier Parish.
The hail storm has been deemed a historic weather event as a result of both it’s longevity and the wide path that it cut across the Ark-La-Tex region. The storm started in upper Northeast Texas between 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., continued along a path that brought it into Bossier Parish around 10:00 p.m. and then continued moving eastward into Webster, Bienville and Jackson parishes. The storm consistently dropped hail almost non-stop along it’s entire path. Large amounts of hail was still visible on the ground several hours after the storm passed through Bossier Parish.
At the peak (in the hours immediately following Friday night’s storm), there were a reported 3,482 customers without power in Bossier Parish. In a Saturday afternoon press release, AEP-Swepco reports that the round of severe storms including straight-line winds and possible tornados Friday night left approximately 11,600 AEP-Swepco customers without power across Eastern Texas and Northern Louisiana.
AEP-Swepco further reports that many poles, wires and trees are down across the Ark-La-Tex. The hardest-hit areas include Linden, Texas and Haughton, Louisiana. Additionally, approximately 6,400 customers are still without power as of 2:15 p.m. Saturday. SWEPCO crews are working as safely and as quickly as possible to restore power while practicing physical distancing and other measures to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
SWEPCO estimates power will be restored to a majority of customers by:
Shreveport – 10 p.m. Saturday
Bossier City – 10 p.m. Saturday
Haughton – 6 p.m. Sunday
Plain Dealing – 6 p.m. Saturday
Vivian – 10 p.m. tonight
Forecasters are predicting the possibility of more severe weather in our area late Tuesday afternoon and evening.
Bossier Press-Tribune staff members Stacey Tinsley and Christopher Sepeda were out and about around Bossier Parish on Saturday morning searching for storm damage. A few of their storm related photos are shown below:
St. Charles Court (Benton) (Photos by: Stacey Tinsley, Bossier Press-Tribune):
Highway 80 East (Haughton) (Photo by: Christopher Sepeda, Bossier Press-Tribune):
Friday night hail in the Princeton area (Photos by: Christopher Sepeda, Bossier Press-Tribune):