Weekend storm rocks the Crossroads
Jan. 9, 2011 at 10:02 p.m.
Updated Jan. 8, 2011 at 7:09 p.m.
Bloomington resident Mary Cantu was dozing in bed during an early-morning storm when her window gave way.
As the pane exploded, Cantu found herself beneath boards, glass and other debris.
"It's a miracle I'm alive," she said Sunday, reaching a finger behind her glasses to dab at her eyes. "I was so scared."
An onslaught of thunder, lighting and rain pounded the Crossroads on Sunday, leaving soggy yards, damaged homes and power outages in its wake.
Victoria County received 1.12 inches of rain throughout the storm, most of which fell between 4:35 and 6 a.m., said Greg Wilk, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Corpus Christi.
Winds gusted up to 70 mph in the Seadrift area and straight-line winds that blew about 50 mph brought damage to the Bloomington and Placedo area, Wilk said. Data shows the damage went in a straight, flat path, he said, explaining that a tornado's damage would have been "twisty."
Those winds caved in parts of the roof over two bedrooms and demolished the barn that sat beside the Cantus' Key Street home.
"The barn is completely gone," John Cantu, Mary's husband, said with a gesture toward sheets of metal that blew into his neighbor's yard. "I mean, it's totaled."
On Sunday afternoon, the couple lit the house with candles - they were told they wouldn't have power for a couple of days - and spoke with family about necessary repairs and what would happen next.
The family is not insured.
"We've lived there for more than 40 years and we'd paid the house off," Mary Cantu said, standing beside a boarded-up window. "We're not sure what we're going to do."
The storm knocked power out for 6,000 homes in Victoria County and part of Calhoun County starting about 4:30 a.m., said Elgin Janssen, spokesman with AEP. Although the company got many people back on line throughout the day, not everything was repaired.
Linda May, emergency services director for the Crossroads chapter of the American Red Cross, spent Sunday driving through affected areas and seeing how she could help.
She passed out water to some and planned follow-up visits with others. She said she hoped to get the Cantu family in touch with a senior citizen organization that could offer further help.
"A lot of people are going to need building materials, which is something we don't deal with too often," she said from her cell phone as she made her way to the next stop. "We're doing what we can."
As for the Cantus, they admitted 2011 got off to a rocky start. The couple had just returned from a Houston visit with their daughter, who underwent open-heart surgery, when Sunday's storm hit.
But John Cantu said he isn't worried. "Everything is going to be all right," he said. "We're survivors."