6 tornadoes confirmed in San Antonio and Austin area

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017
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High winds and 4 reported tornados battered homes on San Antonio's northside overnight.

SAN ANTONIO, TX (KTRK) -- At least six tornadoes hit parts of San Antonio and Austin area, damaging dozens of homes but causing no major injuries.

A National Weather Service survey team confirmed that a tornado with winds hitting 105 mph struck a residential area about five miles north of downtown around midnight. Of the 43 homes damaged in the area, three fully collapsed, said San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Woody Woodward.

Local resident Lucy Duncan said she peered out the window of her home as the storm ramped up, and she saw only a white mist. She said she and her husband quickly rounded up their children and hid under a mattress in an interior hallway - just before the roof was torn from their home.

"We didn't know what was going on at that point. We started to hear the electricity popping and we thought the house had caught fire," she told KENS-TV of San Antonio.

Eight buildings in a nearby apartment complex were severely damaged, with some roofs stripped from the buildings and a couple of building partially collapsed, Woodward said.

Five minor injuries were reported in the area. Crews estimating the damage said preliminary reports indicate the tornado left a 4-mile track.


San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Joe Arrington gives an update on the violent storms that hit the city overnight

Another tornado briefly touched down about five miles northeast of San Antonio International Airport. Woodward had no reports of damage from that area, but photos show tall steel towers carrying high-voltage electric transmission lines toppled or buckled in half.

Citywide, more than 100 structures were damaged by storms, Woodward said.

PHOTOS: Storm leaves behind heavy damage in San Antonio

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Another 30 to 40 homes were damaged in two adjoining subdivisions about 10 miles northeast of downtown, said Bexar County spokeswoman Monica Ramos. The National Weather Service said the area was hit by a weak tornado, with winds of up to 70 mph, along a roughly 1-mile track.

Power outages peaked at more than 47,000 customers early Monday morning, most of them in the area hit by the tornadoes, but were down to 14,000 by early Monday afternoon, according to CPS Energy, the utility serving the area. At least one high-voltage transmission tower in northeastern San Antonio was bent in half.

Weather service meteorologist Eric Platt says survey teams will be inspecting those and other areas during the day Monday. The storms had moved southeast by midday, bringing steady rain to the area but no severe weather.

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