Huge storm with strong winds, but little damage reported

These photos of storm clouds by Don Watson were taken from Fritch looking east toward Borger as the tornado warning sirens were sounding in Borger.
By: 
Tim Howsare
Editor

By TIM HOWSARE
Editor

Early reports on Tuesday night's storm indicate there was little damage in Borger, despite hail stones as large as two inches in diameter and possible wind gusts of 86 mph.
The city's tornado sirens went off shortly before 8 p.m. and cellphone alerts went off simultaneously urging people to take shelter.
The most serious damage reported was a roof blown off a former business on Union Street in the Keeler Heights area of Borger.
Assistant Borger Police Chief Brandon Strope said, “There were decent amounts of reports of hail damage, even some of our vehicles were damaged.”
Strope said the Borger police responded to several calls of alarms going off at residences and business, which he said is common during big storms. He added that Skellytown had golf-ball size hail.
Strope said there may have been at least one vehicle accident, but it was outside city limits.
Jason Whisler, emergency management coordinator for the city of Borger, said the official wind speed during the storm at the Hutchinson County Airport was 63 mph.
Whisler said on Wednesday he saw windows broken out from the hail and downed trees.
“That surprised me because a lot of them looked like green, healthy trees,” he said.
Whisler said there was an unofficial report of a hail stone between the size of a baseball and a softball on social media.
Along Highway 207 en route to Panhandle, storm watchers, including the News-Herald editor, parked along the highway to take photos and videos of the storm.
Gazing west across the prairie, storm watchers witnessed a stunning panoramic view of the supercell as the sun set underneath the clouds.
The storm that passed through Borger around 8 p.m. merged with a second storm in Pampa, where large hail stones also were reported.
“Pampa got the largest hail with three-inch stones,” said Aaron Ward, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Amarillo. “All the reports from Pampa said it was pretty brief.”
After the two storms merged into one, it moved southeast where it affected McLean in Gray County and affected Wellington in Collingsworth County, Ward said.
Sixty mph gusts were reported in Groom, which is in Carson County, Ward said.
Ward said that on Wednesday afternoon the NWS was surveying the region to determine whether there were touchdowns of tornadoes or just strong standing winds.
“There was a home resident in Borger who recorded 86 mile wind gusts and that seems in line with some of damage that was reported there,” he said.
Ward said a few spotters in the Kingsmill area near Pampa reported a possible touchdown.
Ward confirmed the storm that hit Borger had consistent rotation that produced a wall cloud, which he said can be a precursor to a touchdown.

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