The South Texas of Alice was hit with high winds and baseball size hail last night. Most of the population of 19,000 were affected by the storm that knocked out power for several hours, the Insurance Council of Texas reported.
The National Weather Service office in Corpus Christi has sent a survey team to the area to confirm reports of one or more tornadoes.
Insurance agents say they are receiving calls and having policyholders come by with claims on their vehicles and homes. The 30-minute storm pelted roofs and shattered windows on cars, trucks and homes.
Teresa Lopez with the Ken Wallgren Insurance Agency said it was one of the city’s worst storms. “The wind was bad. The rain was bad and the hail started as pea size and got bigger, then baseball size,” said Lopez.
The large hail was falling as the statewide elections were beginning the final hour of voting. Lopez who was helping out with the election process at the courthouse urged voters to stay and seek shelter in the courthouse after voting.
Robert Flores, an employee at Firestone Tire in Alice, said the hailstorm severely damaged both of his vehicles and a tree snapped off, crashing into his home. “I won’t know how badly damaged my house is until I can take the tree off,” said Flores.
Cars are beginning to line up at Manuel Gaza’s Paint and Body Shop in Alice. Gaza said one of the most damaged vehicles he has seen was his own.
“My son took my Tahoe to the H.E.B. to get some groceries and was going to come straight home. When the storms hit, he was told to stay inside the store for safety. The Tahoe is dented all over and has a cracked rear windshield,” said Gaza.
Gaza said the city’s worst storm was in 1983 when even larger hail fell and “covered the city like snow.”
Continuing rounds of thunderstorms have been dropping much needed rainfall and some hail over large portions of the state since Saturday.
Source: The Insurance Council of Texas