A powerful storm dropped large amounts of hail, featured damaging winds and knocked out power to thousands of people on Wednesday night.
As the storm moved in, pushing down from the north, the National Weather Service started issuing severe thunderstorm warnings and that was upgraded to a tornado warning around 7 p.m. Around this time, Ingram Police reported that a person had been struck by lightning — that person’s condition was unknown at press time.
Within a few minutes of that call for medical aid, the storm swept across the county, dropping temperatures by 20 degrees, packing high winds and hail the size of quarters. In just seconds, power was out, a tornado warning went back up and the storm intensified.
“I’ve lived in Kerrville since 1977 and I’ve never seen hail so deep,” Becky Jones wrote in a social media message to The Kerrville Daily Times.
Reader Ted Owen sent a picture of his home with deep drifts of hail that made his Kerrville home look more like a winter scene than the Hill Country in May.
The National Weather Service, which measures weather at Kerrville/Kerr County Airport, said the storm dropped less than an inch of rain — although that was preliminary. The Weather Service also measured gusts at about 40 MPH.
However, the damage to the community’s electrical grid was significant as crews from the Kerrville Public Utility Board faced the task of restoring power to more than 5,000 customers, and that was just an early estimate. This was on top of storms last weekend that had knocked out the power to more than 3,000 — twice.
KPUB had six crews working, along with two contract tree removal crews, trying to repair and clear away the damage.
Buzzie’s Bar-B-Q owner Brenda Hughes said the storm knocked a tree into her home.
Up on Rim Rock Road, Kerr County Sheriff’s deputies were seen surveying the damage, along with Kerrville firefighters. That area was raked by high winds that toppled numerous trees, downed power lines and damaged homes and buildings. A metal building was tossed onto the side of the road, where it came from wasn’t clear, but that was only part of the damage.
The cold hail helped produce thick fog on Rim Rock and Southway Road, making visibility for motorists difficult. Residents in the Rim Rock Road area were still without power, while some residents were reporting their water was out.
Along Junction Highway, Walmart’s parking lot featured shopping carts that were picked up by the winds and scattered.
For those used to unpredictable Texas weather, many sent messages that this was a storm unlike they had seen in many years.
“I haven’t seen a storm like this since the tornado went through Schreiner University many years ago,” wrote reader Jenny Newman.