A line of powerful thunderstorms which crossed Greenville and Hunt County Thursday night brought high winds, lightning and thunder, along with brief heavy rain and hail.

They may also have brought along a lot of smoke.

Police and fire units across the county were called out at around 9 p.m. Thursday to numerous calls from people who either smelled or observed smoke. At one point, heavy smoke was visible in the downtown Greenville area, right before the rain began falling.

But despite the best efforts of all involved, no grass or structure fires had been found as of press time Thursday.

Instead, there were reports that the smoke may have blown in from a giant grass fire in Oklahoma, ahead of the thunderstorms which produced their own problems.

Although none of the storms were listed as severe, the National Weather Service issued a special weather statement warning of possible hail and wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour as the winds shifted from the south to the north with the passage of the storms.

Pea-to-marble size hail fell at the offices of the Herald-Banner, and some power outages were noted in Commerce, although there were no immediate reports of major damage in the area.

Majors Field Municipal Airport received two-tenths of an inch of rain, the first rain recorded locally during January and the first precipitation since a wintry mix fell on Dec. 7.

Hunt County remains under an emergency order banning the use of all forms of combustible materials in an outdoor environment. Persons found violating the order commit a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500 for each offense.

The county also remains under a red flag warning today, due to the extreme danger of grass fires.



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