National Weather Service identifies cause of Longview storm damage
LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - After a brief but destructive storm in Longview yesterday afternoon, the National Weather Service has determined a “down-burst” was responsible.
The storm blew through around 3 p.m. Friday afternoon, hitting an area near East highway 80 and Loop 281, leaving damage to an apartment complex and a neighborhood.
The damage was most visible at Pinehurst apartments where nearly every unit had roof damage. Arriving on scene from the National Weather Service, Meteorologist Charlie Woodrum’s first job is to look for tell-tale clues.
“We’re looking at the damage pattern; what direction did things get pushed down? Were things lifted? Is it chaotic, were there swirls?” he says.
Surveying all areas of damage, Woodrum also gathered first-hand accounts of how the storm hit.
“All of the sudden it was like a waterfall,” one resident told him.
“Uprooting of trees, lots of tree damage. The main part of the down-burst came down here and then pushed out,” Charlie says.
Hundreds of trees were downed or broken in half, windows were broken out and flying debris became projectiles hitting cars and puncturing an apartment unit.
“Branches could be flying; it could do some damage like we saw there with that puncture,” Woodrum says.
One section of damage between the apartments and the residential neighborhood revealed what the meteorologist needed to know.
“We estimate winds of 105 miles per hours, which is very significant, because it came form a down-burst. With this extreme heat it gives it lots of instability making the storms grow large, develop a strong updraft, then all that comes down as a downdraft,” says Woodrum.
One person was hospitalized with minor injuries but was later released.
The Red Cross is helping residents who have damaged homes by providing temporary lodging.
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