Storm fells trees, cuts power lines

Rainfall totals 3/4 of an inch

Julye Keeble

Staff writer

A powerful storm rolled into Uvalde Friday night on 38 mph winds and deposited 0.75 inches of rain according to the Texas A&M Uvalde AgriLife Research and Extension Center. The thunderstorm ushered in electrical outages for many as trees fell and lightning struck, damaging power lines.

The rain measurement brings the year-to-date total to 5.77 inches, more than two inches under the 116-year-average of 8.05 inches.

The J-27 index well of the Edwards Aquifer measured Tuesday at 876.2 feet above mean sea level.

The storm hit Uvalde at approximately 9:15 p.m., with streaks of lightning ripping across the sky as thunder boomed, and winds gusted up to 50 mph.

By 9:24 p.m. there was an electrical line down and tree in the road in the 600 block of Como Street, as well as a line down with a fallen tree and scattered debris across several vehicles at 310 E. Antonio St.

Pete Luna|Leader-News
Debris from a fallen tree lies near the side of the Uvalde EMS building located at 219 S. Getty St. The tree fell after the Friday night storm brought in 38 mph winds with gusts up to almost 50 mph in Uvalde.

Postal boxes were scattered over South Getty Street, the railroad crossing across Knox Street was blocked with debris, and small pieces of hail fell on the southwest side of town as the storm raged on.

Cleanup crews worked with law enforcement officers to clear multiple fallen tree limbs, report damaged electrical equipment and render the roads safe through the evening.

Rain reports

Rain accumulations taken by area weather observers varied.

Bubba Hickman of Camp Wood recorded 1.10 inches of rain on May 13, and 1.20 inches on May 15, with no hail and a little bit of wind.

In Montell, Russel Ellinger’s weather station recorded 0.80 inches of precipitation on May 14 and 0.35 on May 15.

Jo Ann Fisher of Leakey reported 1 inch even, with a lot of wind and a very brief period of pea-sized hail.

“It was a little scary, the thunder and the lightning was the worst I’d ever seen. We were lucky that we just got the rain,” Fisher said. “It was still as a mouse, then ka-wham, the wind hit. I was thinking about my trees and hoping they were still in the ground.”

Nancy Feely near Concan reported 1.5 inches of rain, with a little bit of hail which quickly passed.

Enrique Garcia, who resides in Sabinal, measured 0.95 inches of rain, with no hail but strong winds; Craig Garnett, on South Getty Street in Uvalde recorded 0.90 inches; and Ricky Musquez, who resides on the Flying J Ranch 7 miles north of Reagan Wells, 0.75 inches with wind and hail.

Diane Causey reported 1.60 inches of rain at her residence. She said rain totals for the Utopia area varied from 1.5 to 2 inches with a bad lightning storm, wind and hail.

“It sure sounded loud on the tin roof, but I don’t think anything bad resulted from it,” Causey said.

In La Pryor, John Gaitan reported receiving 2 inches of rain, with a short burst of small hail; John Simpson of Batesville reported 1.2 inches with high winds and a few tree limbs down but no major damage; and J. Hardie, 4.5 miles northeast of Knippa, reported 1.68 inches of rain with a maximum wind speed of 31 mph.

“We had a little hail that hit the windows, but none that you could see on the ground,” Hardie said. He also reported 0.32 inches of rain on May 14.

The Baird household residing six miles west of Barksdale reported 0.70 inches of rain and some wind.

Outages

Power went out across the city, with American Electric Power representatives working on equipment and power lines throughout the area to restore service. According to AEP spokesman Rita Parrish, the bulk of the outages were caused by lightning. They lasted approximately two hours or less, and affected about 1631 households.

Outage times varied, with some households without power for a little under an hour in the area of North Getty Street and Fourth Street, and some homes in north Uvalde near U.S. Highway 55 were without service for more than 15 hours.

Medina Electric Cooperative communications specialist Katie Kothmann Haby noted the company had some outages in Uvalde and outlying areas over the weekend from Friday through Sunday.

“We saw outages from the storm throughout that time, either because of a delay in reporting or because equipment was struck by lightning and failed later as a result,” Haby said.

Lightning caused outages of approximately 40 minutes in the Uvalde area for 16 members of the Medina Electric Cooperative, and two homes were without power for 40 minutes.

In surrounding areas, 26 outages in the Montell area were caused by lightning strikes, with the shortest outage lasting an hour and 15 minutes and one home without power for two hours and 40 minutes.

In the Sabinal area, nine homes experienced power outages due to a lightning strike, with two outages lasting about 40 minutes. Six homes were without power for 59 minutes, and one outage lasted nearly two hours.

In the Batesville area, 29 homes were without power, with 25 having the electric power restored within two and a half hours or less. Four residences were without power for three hours and 17 minutes.

North to Reagan Wells and out to the Haby’s Crossing area, outages impacted 27 homes. The shortest outage in those areas was 44 minutes, and the longest was a member who was without power for three hours and 45 minutes.

“We had six linemen that worked that storm to get power back on, and we appreciate the patience of all the members. We were thankful for the rain, and also glad the damage wasn’t worse – we were preparing for quite a storm based on initial reports we heard,” Haby said.

jkeeble@ulnnow.com, 830-278-3335



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