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Author Topic: 2 Confirmed San Antonio Tornadoes  (Read 890 times)

Offline Al

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2 Confirmed San Antonio Tornadoes
« on: July 25, 2008, 01:23:03 AM »
Source - mysa.com & nws

Cleaning Up the Aftermath

Emergency responders were busy around the city throughout the day, setting up barricades across flooded roadways and tending to numerous fender-benders. Close to a dozen traffic lights malfunctioned and 20 trees were uprooted. But by sunset, no injuries or deaths were attributed to the storm.

Dolly made landfall Wednesday near Brownsville, battering the Rio Grande Valley with 100 mile-per-hour winds and causing widespread flooding and power outages. By Thursday afternoon, the deteriorating system was downgraded to a tropical depression as it moved inland, but the tale of woe continued as Dolly inched across the state.

The National Weather Service said just under an inch of rain fell by 5 p.m. at San Antonio International Airport, the official recording station. But radar maps showed some parts of Bexar County got close to 3 inches of rain.

Rain cooled the region: Thursday’s high temperature hit only 80 degrees, 15 degrees below average. The weather service said rain would taper off today and typical South Texas heat would return, with a high of 92 degrees forecast for the afternoon. Hot, dry weather returns for the weekend, with daily highs of 95 and 97 projected for Saturday and Sunday.

A tornado touched down in the 900 block of Steves Avenue around 10:30 a.m. and rotating clouds were spotted throughout the afternoon as a band of disturbed weather moved across the Northwest Side.

A rotating cloud nearly touching the ground could be seen in the early afternoon just north of the westbound frontage road at Bandera Road and Loop 1604. The rotation of the cloud was slow but definable in the heavy rain.

Wilson County had a report of a tornado near County Road 202 at 8:12 a.m. that twisted an oak tree, damaged a carport and blew rain gutters off a residence there. Karnes County residents reported seeing funnel clouds, but none touched down.

The twisters were typical of those found embedded in hurricanes, which spawn tornadoes on the low end of the Enhanced Fujita scale that measures wind intensity. The winds can cause light to moderate damage; they can batter chimneys and uproot shallow trees, but generally don’t cause major structural damage to buildings.

Mark Lenz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service forecast office in New Braunfels, estimated the tornado that touched down near downtown San Antonio had a wind speed of about 80 miles per hour, making it an F0 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. San Antonio Police Chief Bill McManus estimated 25 homes were damaged in a four-block radius around Steves and South Presa streets

Mike Onofre was working in a shop on South Presa when he said he heard something like a “freight train coming through” that shook the walls. Residents described objects — pieces of trees and trampolines — flying through the air as the wind blast ripped through the neighborhood in about 10 seconds.

“I’ve never seen anything like this here,” Jasmine Cortina said. “It looked like the ‘Wizard of Oz,’ but without the witch.”

Mike Lopez, a resident of the neighborhood, said he was walking in the area when a heavy rain began to fall about 9:30 a.m. He said he took shelter under a carport and started walking again as the rain subsided. But then he saw what looked like a tornado taking shape.

“I just saw a big old twirl, I just saw things flying all over the place,” he said, adding he sought shelter in a nearby convenience store. “I made it just in time. If not, it probably would’ve took me. That’s how strong it was.”

The aftermath: Some houses suffered major roof damage; the streets were littered with trees, branches and debris. No injuries were reported.

“The walls started vibrating and before you knew it we were wondering what the hell is going on,” he said.

At a nearby Mexican restaurant, a front window was shattered and a large sign advertising shrimp was blown off the top of the building.

“We had to go to the kitchen for safety,” said Jesus Castillo, a cook at J. Anthony’s Seafood Café on South Presa.

City crews — equipped with bulldozers, street sweepers and garbage trucks — worked for about two hours to clear the streets of debris. About 35 firefighters and 40 police units barricaded the neighborhood and went door-to-door checking for injuries.

Fire Chief Charles Hood said crews responded about 9:30 a.m. By 10:15 a.m., crews were raking small pieces of debris off the street. At 10:30, they broke out the chainsaws to chop up large trees and long branches.

“It’s a bit of an adventure,” said Sandra Derabertis, who is visiting from Long Island, N.Y., and showed up at the scene Thursday to take pictures. “The police and rescue I see is amazing. They’re doing a wonderful job.”

By noon, most of the debris was cleaned and street sweepers made final rounds up and down the block.

According to city statistics, by 3 p.m., seven streets were closed and police had responded to 143 minor traffic accidents and 34 major accidents since midnight.

Offline wxmediafan

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Re: 2 Confirmed San Antonio Tornadoes
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2008, 08:12:40 AM »
Wow!  Glad you're okay.  Sounds like you've had one interesting weather week as well, Al :yes:

I had no idea about Dolly...at all.  I didn't even see anything of it in the News papers.  Is she a result of the desterbance that was in the Carribbean last weekend.

At least it was a 0 on the EF scale, but still, a tornado is a tornado.

Offline ilovemikebettes

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Re: 2 Confirmed San Antonio Tornadoes
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2008, 10:05:31 AM »
Wow!  Glad you're okay.  Sounds like you've had one interesting weather week as well, Al :yes:

I had no idea about Dolly...at all.  I didn't even see anything of it in the News papers.  Is she a result of the desterbance that was in the Carribbean last weekend.

At least it was a 0 on the EF scale, but still, a tornado is a tornado.
Yeah,a tornado is a tornado! I was once in an EF-2 tornado and I am still ok. I'm glad you're still here with us!  :D

Mike Bettes is FOREVER!
I miss you,ThunderFever on YouTube. You will be sorely missed,and many Ryan Farish songs in your honour.