Thunderstorms are in the forecast for parts of the Southeast Thursday and Friday as a storm system is moving across the region from the west. Strong to severe storms are possible Thursday and Friday along the Gulf Coast from southwest Louisiana to northern/central Florida and southern Georgia. The storm system’s main threats are strong gusting winds, hail, lightening and the possibility of isolated tornadoes.
The Houston, TX area was hit by severe weather Tuesday night. Not far from Houston in the town of Hitchcock, people spent Wednesday repairing windows on their homes and vehicles after an intense hail storm hit the community. The hail that fell there was the size of softballs, shocking residents. Throughout the day Wednesday, wreckers in that town were busy towing heavily damaged vehicles in for repair and contractors were equally busy with roof tarps and temporary property repairs.. Some Hitchcock homes had their roofs cave in from the hail that struck. More than half of the town’s police cars were damaged by the big hail stones while strong gusting winds were responsible for knocking down many tree limbs throughout the area.
The severe weather that moved into Texas caused street flooding in Houston and a house fire in Austin caused by a lightening strike. It also resulted in nearly 50,000 CenterPoint customers losing their electricity in the Houston and Galveston areas. In Marble Falls, TX, 450 cars and SUVs were damaged by hail at an auto dealership resulting in damage estimates in excess of $1 million. A large number of homes in Marble Falls had hail damage ranging from smashed out windows to damaged siding and roofs.
In Austin, the severe weather dumped about 2 inches of rain during rush hour Tuesday evening, snarling traffic and trapping motorists. At least 8 people had to be rescued from their vehicles because of flash flooding on Austin area roadways Tuesday late afternoon and early evening. In one instance, a motorist was plucked from the top of his car by rescuers on an aerial ladder set up precariously atop an overpass.
People living in the Panhandle of Florida can expect heavy rains and severe thunderstorms Thursday. As the severe weather moves eastward, residents of north and central Florida also will have to deal with the threat of severe weather. Moderate to heavy rainfall is being forecast for these areas of Florida which brings with it the possibility of flooding and especially to low lying areas and along streams and rivers.