LAKE JACKSON, Texas — For most Houston-area residents, Hurricane Nicholas feels like a distant memory. But there are thousands heading into the weekend without power.
The beautiful, old trees in Lake Jackson proved to be a liability when Nicholas arrived.
Dozens of them were defeated by the powerful winds of the storm, toppling onto homes, and taking out powerlines throughout the city.
More than 6,500 homes were without power at the height of the outage.
The city’s mayor said more than 1,000 homes still did not have power Friday afternoon.
“A lot of places the line crews can’t go in until their tree services go in, clear the trees, then they can go in, and work on the power lines,” said Lake Jackson Mayor Gerald Roznovsky.
Mayor Roznovsky said if Lake Jackson did not get the prize for worst damage from the storm, then they’re tied with somewhere else for first place.
The Lake Jackson Civic Center has been converted into a cooling center for those seeking respite from the heat of their powerless homes.
There were many more residents at the center a few days ago, and only a handful remained on Friday.
The electricity for the civic center has not been restored in its normal way. A new method of power is being tested at the civic center for the first time. Behind the building is a 5,000-watt generator, fueled by methane gas, that has the ability to power up to 500 homes.
The mayor said CenterPoint Energy offered to test the massive new generator, which was created after the winter storm, in Lake Jackson first.
“Once they brought it up and finally said, ‘OK, here we go,’ it’s been running consistently ever since then,” Mayor Roznovsky said.
Only pockets of outages remain further south in Brazoria County in places like Freeport and Surfside.
Surfside Police said most of the power was restored on Friday.
Nonetheless, beach house owners will have their hands full this weekend, as the damage to some structures is extensive.