I’m here at Chimney Park RV resort in Mission. Behind me, you can see several damaged trees; even an overturned trailer home. Perhaps most surprising of all: the fact that this isn’t the aftermath of a tornado.
With downed power lines, trees snapped in half, what used to be metal sheds, now wrapped around fences like aluminum foil, officials say last night’s storm hit Mission the hardest.
“You started to hear what sounded like a freight train coming,” said Mission resident Matt Barth.
Matt Barth lives with his wife and in laws in mission. He says when they came outside this morning to observe the damage from last night’s storm; they couldn’t find his mother in laws car.
“You can see at the end the tree has been uprooted,” say Barth. “And it’s fallen over.”
That’s because this tree fell on top of it, completely covering it.
“The house was shaking; everything was pretty violent,” says Barth. “We were convinced it was a tornado.”
But Barry Goldsmith from the national weather service says it wasn’t a tornado, just a thunderstorm producing wind gusts ranging from 85-95 miles per hour.
“From a tornado you’d expect to see a smaller area or width,” says Barry Goldsmith. “Maybe 100 yards, 50 yards, maybe 200 yards, but this seems like a mile wide and certainly many miles long.”
Those strong winds knocking out power form many Rio Grande Valley residents.
“At the peak of the storm last night,” said Lee Jones. “We had about 21,500 customers affected.”
Lee Jones from AEP Texas tells me about 100 electricity poles were broken in the mission area alone