Severe thunderstorms swept through the Crossroads on Sunday morning, damaging some homes and power lines with powerful winds and brief but heavy rains.
“All of a sudden it got really dark, and the winds kicked up,” said Kristen Lopez, 37, of Ganado.
Although some on social media wondered if a tornado had touched down inside the town, Kelly R. Janica, Jackson County Emergency Management Coordinator, said those reports were unsubstantiated.
As of Sunday evening, he was waiting for a National Weather Service expert to assess damage in the town and determine whether a twister had actually touched down. The storms, which swept northeast through the Crossroads at 30 mph and brought about 0.7 inches of rain in Victoria, left sporadic damage and caused thousands of customers to lose power.
In Ganado, at least half a dozen homes sustained minor to moderate damage from flying tree limbs and powerful winds, said Janica, adding none of the damaged homes appeared uninhabitable. Nevertheless, American Red Cross officials were alerted of the damage and were seeking those in need.
Janica had received no reports of injuries or sightings of a tornado.
Ganado Independent School District officials delayed start times Monday morning until 9 a.m. for staff and faculty and 10 a.m. for students. Bus route pickup times were adjusted accordingly.
After the storms had passed, Ganado residents and public employees worked to clear yards and roadways of fallen limbs, which littered the ground, Lopez said.
“It definitely really looks like (a tornado) came because (of) all the trees. A lot were down,” Lopez said.
Tree limbs and other debris were mainly to blame for the loss of power across the Crossroads, said Vee Strauss, American Electric Power spokeswoman.
In Victoria County, downed power lines closed Farm-to-Market Road 236 near Farm-to-Market Road 1686 for a "very short time," said David Gonzales, deputy emergency management coordinator. No other reports of closed roadways were received, and the farm road was open again Monday, he said.
In the Victoria area, AEP officials logged at least 3,000 outages, which were almost completely restored by Sunday afternoon. About 13,000 outages were reported in the power company’s Corpus Christi district, which includes Victoria, Corpus Christi, El Campo and surrounding areas.
At Target in Victoria, the storms caused the business to rely on backup power, although the disruption did not cause the store to close. Store representatives said AEP estimated a full restoration of power that evening.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience. We will get it as quick as we can,” said Strauss, adding the weather was cooperating with repair crews who continued working Sunday afternoon.
Victoria spokesman O.C. Garza was unaware of any problematic flooding in the city. Garza assessed several low-lying areas in Victoria while returning from an early Mass, he said.
Despite heavy rains and powerful winds, Garza thought the storms did not linger long enough to create any significant damage.
“Lucky for us, it was rolling pretty fast,” Garza said.
By Sunday afternoon, the fast-moving storms had given way to a cool, refreshing afternoon with bright blue skies and warm spring sunshine. Plenty of sunshine and highs in the upper 80s were expected through the next week.
“The day got very pretty,” Garza said. “It’s cool, clear and pleasant.”
Jon Wilcox reports on courts for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached firstname.lastname@example.org or 361-580-6515.