Storm, strong winds cause damage around Houston

Friday, October 20, 2017 12:08PM
Scattered storms caused damage in the Houston area today.


DICKINSON, Texas - This morning's storm rolled in fast and the rain came down hard. Paramedics and police responded to multiple spin-outs on I-45. A lightning strike caused a fire and people in Dickinson are cleaning up after a possible tornado.

In Clear Lake, neighbors called 911 around 5 a.m. when a 10-foot flame lit up a backyard. Firefighters say lightning struck an oak tree, the bolt traveled through the tree's roots and hit a gas line causing an explosion.

"When the lightning hit, all the bark shot off the tree, broke a couple of windows and everything," said District Chief Michael Flanagan, with the Houston Fire Department. "This is the first time I've seen it where the lighting traveled through the roots."

The house wasn't damaged and the family renting the place wasn't home at the time.

A few hours later, nine miles south, Sarah Sybert, a pre-kindergarten teacher was on her way to work when suddenly, a wave of water flooded El Camino Real Street, killing her engine.

"It was crazy out here, all the roads were flooded around here," Sarah Sybert said. "You can see the water line, it was high."

In Dickinson, the Harshbarger family is left wondering if it was a tornado or straight line winds that mowed down their fence and destroyed lawn furniture in their backyard.

"The windows started shaking a little bit and we heard the sound, what they say sounds like a freight train," said Daina Harshbarger.

The National Weather Service surveyed the damage late Friday morning and are still trying to figure out what kind of system did this.

Harshbarger said she and her family hid in the bathroom while the storm passed.

Like most people in Dickinson, they are still dealing with Harvey damage. This is not what they needed.

"After Harvey and everything, and now this? It's like, can we get a break?" Harshbarger said.

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