About 2,300 residents in McLennan County remained without power Wednesday evening after a severe thunderstorm and strong winds led to widespread damage across the county Tuesday night.
Severe thunderstorms rolled into McLennan County late Tuesday evening with heavy rain and strong winds, National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Cain said. Wind speeds varied throughout the county, and rain accumulation varied from 1 to 1.5 inches overnight. Downed trees and flooded roadways created trouble for people across the region.
“At the Waco airport, wind gusts reached 75 mph, and out in West, wind speeds were 56 mph,” Cain said. “There were no tornadoes confirmed, but most of the damage was from straight-line winds.”
Officials in northwestern McLennan County, especially in Speegleville, Crawford and China Spring, reported wind damage, McLennan County Emergency Management Coordinator Frank Patterson said. Pea size hail was also reported in China Spring, Patterson said.
“The primary region was the northern to northwestern part of the county that seemed to get the strongest front of the storm,” he said. “I know a lot of the Waco street department workers were out most of the night resetting barricades that had blown over and setting out stop signs where traffic lights went out, so most people stayed busy throughout the night.”
About 13,000 Oncor customers, including multiple schools, lost power Tuesday night, Oncor regional manager Michael Baldwin said.
By Wednesday evening, Oncor estimated 2,300 of their 93,965 customers in McLennan County remained without power.
“Due to the strong winds, Oncor crews are working to repair facilities,” Baldwin said. “We’re working safely and diligently to restore power to all customers.”
Oncor crews estimated that power should be restored by 9 a.m. Thursday, he said.
Students sent home
La Vega High School sent students home Wednesday morning because part of the campus was without power.
Al Bishop, assistant superintendent for personnel and administration, said school officials decided to send students home because the part of the school without power included some restrooms, the kitchen and the air conditioning equipment.
Although Elizabeth Gamez said she had power Wednesday at her house near 29th Street and Edna Avenue, she said the severe weather scared her when three trees in her yard fell over.
“We are going to have to check the roof too. I am not sure if the roof has much damage, but our trees are down,” Gamez said. “The lightning and thunder sounded like an earthquake, it was so loud.”
National Weather Service meteorologists have predicted Central Texas may continue to experience “unsettled” weather for the rest of the week, Cain said. Weather is not expected to be severe, but continued rain may impact the area.
“There will be a brief break on maybe Friday and into Saturday, but we get into Sunday and into next week, the models look to have more showers,” Cain said. “This is springtime, so this is just a part of this time of year here.”