2 Hospitalized after crash

3/19/2008 12:00 AM

An accident involving two tractor-trailers on Texas 6 that sent both drivers to the hospital was being blamed on the weather Tuesday night.

The accident just before 6 p.m. clogged traffic south of College Station about three miles south of F.M. 159.

The two trucks were traveling in opposite directions on Texas 6 when one crossed into oncoming traffic and struck the other, Department of Public Safety officials said.

South Brazos County Volunteer Fire Chief Emily Staples blamed the accident on "a combination of light loads, high winds and driving rain."

Staples expected lane closures until midnight as crews cleared the wreck from the road, but traffic was light Tuesday night and there were no major delays. Neither driver's injuries appeared to be life-threatening, Staples said.

The wreck appeared to be the worst storm-related accident in the Brazos Valley, but across the state, floodwaters, wind and heavy rain forced evacuations, airport delays and swiftwater rescues.

At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, hundreds of flights were grounded, causing a ripple effect at Easterwood Airport in College Station.

John Happ, Easterwood's director of aviation, said more than 70 percent of Tuesday's arriving American Airlines flights were canceled. While it may be inconvenient for passengers, Happ said, the weather left little choice.

"We should be back on schedule tomorrow if the weather permits," he said. "We are making every effort possible to stay on schedule."

The airport recorded just more than an inch of rain, but Bryan-College Station wasn't the only area to get a wind-thrashed soaking.

Two Hearne homes were damaged when the roof of one collapsed and the roof of the other was torn off by high winds.

Brenham police said there was a report of a tornado that knocked down a few barns. No one was injured, officials said, and the National Weather Service in Houston said the damage was more likely caused by strong winds.

In Rockdale, a loss of power at the water station left the town temporarily without water, officials said.

And while the storm wasn't as severe as expected in the Brazos Valley, emergency crews were standing by, just in case.

Texas Task Force 1 activated strike teams along the Interstate 35 corridor from San Antonio to Dallas, and an 80-person crew was staging at the team's College Station headquarters, director Bob McKee said.

McKee said the activation was prompted by the threat of tornadoes and heavy rain, and while an emergency response may not have been needed this time, it's always good to be prepared.

"We hope we are not used," McKee said, "but by being ready, we know we can call on these resources to act quickly and can save people and property in the process."

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