Severe weather moving through the South Texas area hit Kingsville hard Thursday evening, with above 80 mile-per-hour winds, rain and hail downing trees and power lines and damaging property throughout town.
Meteorologist Alina Nieves with the National Weather Service Corpus Christi said severe thunderstorms entered Kingsville between 7 and 8 p.m. Thursday.
She said winds in excess of 80 mph, along with about 1.5 inches of rain and hail approximately one inch in diameter, were reported during Thursday’s storm. The strong winds caused property damage throughout the Kingsville area, including downed power lines causing outages for many residents.
According to a press release from AEP Texas, at its peak an estimated 9,600 residents lost electricity during the storm, and crews worked through the night to restore power.
As of 11:30 a.m. Friday, approximately 6,100 area residents were still without power. AEP Texas had initially projected to have power restored to at least 95 percent of area residents by noon Friday, but later sent out an update revising their projection to 8 p.m. Saturday.
Power has been restored to Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg, Naval Air Station Kingsville and the water treatment plant, the release stated, with the water pumping station anticipated to be restored by Friday afternoon.
The power outages have also disabled several street lights in town, and motorists are advised to take caution and treat intersections without working lights as four-way stops.
Customers can monitor power outage updates in the news and information section of the aeptexas.com website, which includes a real-time outage map with the most current information available.
To report any downed power lines, call AEP Texas at (866) 223-8508.
While the Kingsville area was issued a tornado warning Thursday evening, Nieves said NWS Corpus Christi would not be able to confirm any tornado activity until its storm survey team completes its damage analysis.
“The team is in Kingsville this morning,” she said. “So right now, we are waiting for them to see what they find out, and if it’s a tornado or just wind damage.”
Nieves said updates will be provided through the NWS Corpus Christi social media accounts.
“Later this afternoon, we will have more information,” she said.
As for Friday’s forecast, Nieves said there is only a 10 percent chance of rain in the Kingsville area, but residents should expect “very hot” conditions with heat indices expected to be above 110 degrees.
“Heat is going to be the main hazard that we will have today,” she said. “If you’re going to be outside, take frequent breaks, stay hydrated and wear light-colored clothing.”
Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at email@example.com or (361) 221-0251.