60-mile wind rips Brady; power lines fall in blow

May 19-22, 1959 High winds with the force of a hurricane raked Brady for almost three hours Wednesday night’but produced only a few drops of rain. The wind, hitting an estimated 60-70 miles per hour, knocked down television antennas, upset chicken houses and set off flashing electrical explosions as trees leaned over into power lines. The City’s electrical crew stayed busy chasing down trouble calls. Eight lines broke during the night as the wires touched, shorted out, and burned in two. City Supt. James Feazelle blamed the swaying trees for the trouble. Every time the wind blew the trees into the wires they kicked out the circuit breakers at the power plant, interrupting service. “Every time we turned the power on, the circuit breakers would kick out again. We finally decided to leave them out until the wind died down.” The power was off about an hour. The wind started blowing about 9 p.m., and it was almost midnight before it calmed. Feazelle explained that there was real danger in having one of the City’s primary lines break and then fall into a secondary line, sending 7200 volts into a house. The City has six feeders coming out of the power plant to serve the town, and only one, the south business circuit, failed to kick out. Except for the electrical troubles, the storm caused little major damage. Television antennas, many on houses in the rural areas beyond the reach of the TV cable service, toppled. One at the Bill Crew home north of Brady fell on the house and knocked a hole in the roof. The wind also ripped out a 30-foot section of corrugated metal roofing on a lumber shed at Higginbotham Lumber Company on West Main. Scores of private homes lost shingles in the breeze, and all over town the wind curled up asphalt shingles on many houses. One of the biggest losses was in garbage cans. During the height of the blow, the cans started rolling and bouncing down the street, scaring a few motorists who dared to get out. It was almost like Halloween night with the cans scattered for blocks. * * * Gas Company asks raise, must build new pipeline The gas company warned the City Council Tuesday night that Brady is almost out of natural gas, that the company must build an eight-mile pipeline to a new supply, and will need a rate increase to pay the cost. “You’re on the ragged edge of being out of gas,” James Davis of Amarillo, vice president of Pioneer Natural Gas Company, said. Davis explained that when the company bought the Jane Ellen gas field in Brown County in 1945 the field was expected to give Brady a 15-year supply, and the 15 years now are about up. The field still has more than two billion cubic feet of gas’a four-and-one-half years supply for Brady'”but when a field is as near depleted as this one is, anything can occur overnight. Water could break through, and you’d be out of gas.” And even thought the Jane Ellen field still has gas the pressure is so low “that we can’t get through this winter and meet the peak demand,” Davis added. Brady also is supplied by the Stewardson and Vance wells in Coleman County near Rockwood, but neither could fill Brady’s needs alone. Davis said the gas company has contracted to buy additional gas at new wells in Coleman County near Fisk and will start construction in June or July to connect the wells with Pioneer’s system. The pipeline will cost $150,000, “and we have to build it on borrowed money’and the only way to borrow is to show that it will pay out.” The City Council granted the gas company a 12-and-one-half percent rate increase back in August, 1957 (the company had asked for 17 percent). “It wasn’t what we asked for, but we agreed to try it for a year and it has been longer than that now’Now we are going to have to spend more money, and we need help from somewhere.” Davis said the new Coleman County wells have an estimated five billion cubic feet of gas, a 10-year supply of gas. By connecting the wells and with the other sources “it will bring us back to the 15-year reserve we had in 1945.” The company also owns four wells near Waldrip, but Davis said the total reserve there isn’t worth the cost of building a pipeline to them: ‘We’d use them only as a last resort.” Davis was accompanied by Newland Oldham of Amarillo, another Pioneer vice president; C.C. Rainwater of Big Spring, district manager; and James Isbell, Brady manager. “Pioneer is a Texas corporation,” Oldham emphasized to the Council. “There is no holding company pulling strings on us, but we have a major problem in serving Brady, and we have to do something.” How much increase in rate is the company asking’ “We haven’t gone that far. Let us come back and put the problem on the table. We must keep Brady in gas. Let us know if you nave any questions. We’ll be back,” Davis said. “Don’t hurry!” the councilmen joked. * * * Airport needs repairs, fliers tell Council A delegation of private fliers told the City Council Tuesday night that facilities at Curtis Field are in bad need of repair and that many of the facilities are inadequate. They said many of the lights on the runway are out, the paved runway needs patching, weeds are growing up in the asphalt, and “mesquite trees are taking over” the field making it dangerous should a plane have to land off the runway. City Attorney Sam McCollum explained that Intercontinental Manufacturing Company is responsible for operation and maintenance of the airport under IMCO’s lease of the Curtis Field property. He said the lease contract could be canceled if IMCO fails to maintain the airport, but he recommended first that the fliers file a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration (the old CAA and CAB under a new combined agency). The fliers were represented by James Walton, John Threadgill and Milt Miller. They were particularly concerned about the “bad impression of Brady” that transient fliers get when they stop here for service and can’t get it. * * * Lohn ag prof. resigns for job at Comfort C.B. Chenault, vocational agriculture teacher at Lohn High School for the last three years, resigned Monday night. He is moving to Comfort as ag teacher, effective July 1. “I want to thank all the people of McCulloch County for their cooperation with our program. They have been swell. My wife and I have made many friends here, and we’ll remember them all. We hate to leave, but it’s a chance at a better job,” he said. Originally from Junction, Chenault went to Lohn on his first teaching job after graduating from college. He and his wife have one daughter, Sherri Beth, seven months old. * * * PERSONAL MENTIONS Guests of relatives Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hall and two children, Linda and Danny, of Jal, N. Mex., were guests of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. M.E. Kidd from Monday until Friday. * * * To attend graduation Billy Dale Moseley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Billy Moseley of Rochelle, will receive his B.S. degree in vocational education from Sam Houston State College in Huntsville, Sunday, May 24. He finished his degree work in January and has been working on his Master’s and doing practice teaching this semester. His parents plan to attend the graduation exercises Sunday. * * * Singing Convention The McCulloch County Singing Convention will meet Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock in the new Baptist Church at Voca. Non-denominational, everyone is invited to attend.

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