Severe weather moves through southeast Texas

Severe weather moved through southeast Texas on Friday, and it's being blamed for at least one fire and toppled trees.
August 16, 2013 8:06:52 PM PDT
Storms that moved through Friday knocked down trees, flooded some streets and cut power to thousands of residents.

Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, several Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were issued. None remain, but the storms did leave their mark.

Bush Intercontinental Airport was forced to ground all flights after wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour and golf ball-sized hail were reported in the area. More than 200 lightning strikes were counted in a 10-minute period in The Woodlands area alone.

The weather is also being blamed for damage across our area, including at least one fire and several toppled trees.

Coast Guard officials in Chambers County say a lightning strike is believed to have sparked a fire at an unmanned SandRidge Energy oil platform in Trinity Bay near Beach City. Officials say no one was injured in the fire.

In Houston, firefighters say a lightning strike is the cause of a blaze at an apartment complex off Willow Place Drive near Willowbrook Mall in northwest Houston. They say the fire damaged the roof to a couple of units, but no injuries were reported.

One car got caught up in the storm and was actually struck by lightning on Richey Road just south of FM 1960. Some of the windows were blown out, and the woman in the vehicle had to be taken to the hospital.

In the Galleria area, Houston police were redirecting traffic on North Post Oak after two trees fell into the roadway. The road remained closed until crews could come cut up the trees and move them out of the way.

In north Houston, at least one street appeared flooded, and on the east side of town, a tree fell atop a residential home.

"I felt the ground shake and I didn't know if it was the wind trying to pick my house up or what it was," neighbor Chris Graham said.

In northeast Houston, a tree fell on top of a car, and not too far away, a transformer blew out near Episanio Rodriguez's home and tore up his carport.

"My carport was right here, started from right here and 20 feet back. Everything blew away. It just picked it up and blew it over the house," Rodriguez said.

On the south side, in Pearland and parts of Brazoria County, there were reports of downed power poles, blown transformers, uprooted trees and damaged fences. An iWitness user sent Eyewitness News a picture of the family barbecue pit at the bottom of the pool, among other items.

At the height of the storms, CenterPoint Energy reported 102,956 customers were without power, and Entergy reported as many as 2,400 customers in Montgomery County lost power too.

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