CENTRAL TEXAS (KXAN) — The National Weather Service has yet to confirm a tornado touched down in central Texas on Friday after severe weather hit. However, people in some of the KXAN viewing area experienced significant damage.
Photos poured in from viewers who experienced hail, heavy rain and wind gusts up to 60 miles-per-hour.
Reports of a tornado touching down along Highway 77 north of Warda came Friday night from Fayette County EMS.
An 18-wheeler had rolled over in the area, and blocked the highway for hours.
EMS medics said that report came from a driver who was on the highway just north of that rollover.
KXAN Photojournalist Andrew Choat also described seeing trees down around him.
KXAN Reporter Tom Miller headed out to Warrenton, where winds ripped the tiny town’s time-worn treasures at the Excess One Antique Hall.
Susan Miller, who owns the venue, said strong winds tore the metal support beams right up, concrete base and all. “Sick, just sick, not only for my family but for the vendors,” said Miller.
With the next show starting in just weeks, the race is to now quickly clean things up. “The whole thing is just sad,” she continued.
Fayette County Judge Joe Weber said the damage stretched across the northeast part of the county, keeping the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, dispatchers, La Grange Fire Department, Winchester Fire Department and EMS busy.
Northeast of Warrenton, Round Top saw significant damage as well.
Craig Moreau with the Fayette County Office of Emergency Management said they saw significant damage while out surveying on Friday night and Saturday, but thankfully no one was injured and no homes were damaged. Businesses however, were.
Moreau added that he was blown away by the community coming together for cleanup efforts, even at 3 a.m. Though he came from the Houston Fire Department just months ago, he was impressed with everyone’s work.
He also said the county had been in conversations with the National Weather Service about whether a tornado had actually touched down.
But NWS officials told KXAN Meterologist Kristen Currie that they had no additional plans to survey damage because they believed it was consistent with straight-line winds in the range of 60 to 80 miles-per-hour.
“However, we cannot rule out there could have been a tornado or two embedded within the straight-line wind damage, based on the occurrence of several brief, but weak circulations that were evident on radar data. Deciphering any tornadic damage within a swath of larger straight-line wind damage is very hard to do,” a statement from NWS officials said in part. The statement added that if they received any additional data or reports that changed their thinking, they would come forward.
A tweet from Texas Parks and Wildlife on Saturday said a lightning strike and high winds hit the Bastrop State Park and Buescher State Park overnight.
Bobbie Smith, an owner of Smith’s Supply Company is Smithville said she showed up to significant damage at her store Friday night.
She and her husband got suspicious of damage after she got notifications that the alarm was going off.
When she got there she found merchandise had fallen off the walls and destruction outside.
Flip through a gallery of the damage she found below: