Severe weather causes damage across the area

Viewer photo from storms in Richmond, Tx (Send in your storm photo)

June 11, 2010 10:27:20 AM PDT
A powerful and fast-moving line of storms sped through the ABC13 viewing area Tuesday morning, leaving behind reports of downed trees and thousands of people without power. The storms came in from the southwest and by 10am they began to cause problems in the Fort Bend County area. They quickly moved inside the Loop, with torrential downpours and damage from straight line winds, according to the National Weather Service.

As quickly as the storms blew in, they moved through to the northeast.

Some residents were startled by the heavy storms that brought some strong winds.

One man who lives near the Channel 13 studios told us, "The wind came through and ripped the trees and they were spinning and just popped them. As fast as it came, it was gone. It scared me to death."

In the Heights area, a large tree fell across the roof of a two-story house on Oxford, causing damage to the roof. Tree removal crews were at work all afternoon, cutting apart the tree branches.

During the storm, a high-voltage power line in east Houston arced and sent construction workers and those in the Harrisburg Clinic running. METRO said there were no reports of injuries.

The Ft. Bend Co. Sheriff's Department told us they saw scattered trees down in the area, with at least one accident reported due to a fallen tree. A spokesperson also said trees fell in Needville area and Pleak. They said there were no reports of injuries or trees on houses.

The storm left behind a mess in one Richmond neighborhood. We found tree branches scattered all over the place. One resident of the Pecan Grove subdivision told us she was trying to drive, and tree branches were coming down all around her.

"The storm was so bad, trees were falling in front of me; I had to stop and get trees out of the road," she said.

The branches did not cause any damage to homes.

In Montgomery County, Conroe police reported that downed power lines caused road closures in the area.

A funnel cloud was reported near Pearland, but it did not touch down.

Tornado reportedly hits Baytown

The National Weather Service said one of its employees surveyed the damage caused to the Bay Harbor Apartments at 2500 East James. After talking to several eyewitnesses and observing the damage it was determined that a brief, very localized tornado touchdown did occur about two to three minutes before the actual line of thunderstorms moved through.

Winds associated with the tornado were estimated to be between 65-85 mph.

The Baytown Police Department had reports of roof damage to the Bay Harbour Apartments. The American Red Cross said its staff and volunteers from the Baytown office surveyed the damaged and met with some of the residents in the affected apartments. The apartment complex is relocating the residents in those damaged apartments. The majority of those affected have renters insurance, so currently Red Cross is assisting two families.

Brazoria County hit hard

It's not exactly the tour of his property Alan Brinkmeyer was planning today. But when a fierce quick moving storm blew through Brazoria County, his land on County Road 463 was right in the path.

"Rain started coming, and I decided it was time for me to get out of the house," said Brinkmeyer.

He didn't lose a shingle off his house, but a dozen trees and his barn weren't as lucky.

Just down the street at a storage warehouse on FM 521, half the roof was ripped off by the storm. No one was inside, so there were no injuries, but the guys hired to clean it all up have a lot of work ahead.

"I didn't know this was coming in; it kind of surprised me. I heard it. I couldn't see it 'cause it was so black, but I heard it," said Rick French.

A few miles north in the small town of Brazoria, damage was limited to a few downed street signs. Texas Department of Transportation crews were quickly dispatched to replace what Mother Nature tore down.

The National Weather Service says it was straight line winds that caused all the damage. However, looking around his home, Brinkmeyer remains unconvinced.

"It didn't sound like straight line winds," he said. "A tornado, a freight train, like they always say."

The NWS said the strongest storms paralled SH 288 from Manvel to the town of Brazoria.

Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries here.


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