80 mph winds knock out power, down limbs in Port Lavaca

April 2, 2012 at 12:03 p.m.
Updated April 1, 2012 at 11:02 p.m.

Wind speeds of up to 80 mph hammered through Port Lavaca about 5 a.m. Monday, knocking out power for 2,200 people and downing several tree limbs.

Some homes also sustained minor roof damage, and two telephone poles snapped in half, according to the National Weather Service.

City crews worked throughout the day to clean up limbs and help unblock streets.

"By the time we turn one corner and get things fixed, we see something else in another area," Port Lavaca City Manager Bob Turner said.

Meanwhile, American Electric Power crews spent as many as 12 hours trying to restore power to the last few customers.

Winds knocked down 10 power lines, said Elgin Janssen, manager of community affairs at AEP. Two breakers were also affected by the storm - one at the Port Lavaca substation in the southwest portion of the city and one near Brookhollow Drive in the north-central section, Janssen said.

AEP sent about 15 employees from Victoria to help restore power and reset the poles. The project took most of the day because AEP employees had to cut off parts of service in order to set up new posts and circuits, Janssen said.

Some sections of eastern Refugio County reported power outages, but most of the storm's damage was confined to the Port Lavaca area.

NWS Meteorologist Tim Tinsley said the storm trudged a path about half a mile wide and two miles length. A storm survey team estimated the wind speeds to be about 70 to 80 mph.Hurricane force winds can be 75 mph, Tinsley said

The forecast calls for more storms early Tuesday morning and into the afternoon. There's a 60 percent chance of rain and a threat for more severe thunderstorms, Tinsley said.



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