Overnight line of storms brings ‘quite a bit of wind damage,’ downed trees and gas pumps

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Storms carrying high winds of at least 60 miles per hour caused power outages and property damage across southeast Texas overnight, downing trees, power lines and even gas pumps across the region.

A line of heavy storms moved through just after midnight with winds that caused power outages for nearly 33,000 residents here, according to CenterPoint Energy figures. As of 8:30 a.m., that figure was down to about 8,300 Harris County homes and businesses.

The entire line of storms carried winds of 30-40 miles per hour, with bursts in some places topping at least 60 miles per hour, said Dan Reilly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The worst damage happened north of Houston, in Brazos and Burleson Counties, but there was scattered damage here as well, Reilly said.

“You get these periodic downbursts and stronger winds pushing out with the wind,” said Reilly. “In a case like that, the wind damage tends to be laid out in one direction.”

Such bursts become “microbursts” when they are severe, but Reilly said there is no evidence yet that those occurred in the overnight storms. Reilly said the weather service also detected some rotating storms on the radar, which could indicate tornadoes touched down.

“We can’t confirm that at this point,” he said. One such storm was spotted near Hobby Airport.

The weather service’s log of damage reports includes structural damage to a Buffalo Speedway gas station and downed trees in The Woodlands. KBTX in College Station reports one resident’s trampoline crashed onto its home, leaving its legs poking through the ceiling.

Somerville police were reporting the entire town was without power at 10 p.m. Friday, according to the log.

The Houston Chronicle facility on the Southwest Freeway was among the buildings to lose power, which may have caused some delivery delays of Saturday’s newspaper. Readers can access today’s stories at houstonchronicle.com.

Chambers and Galveston counties were briefly under tornado watches and Fort Bend and Harris counties were under tornado warnings. All of those have been lifted.

The risk of severe weather had mostly passed as Houstonians began waking up Saturday morning. The line of storms was in Louisiana as of 8:30 a.m., Reilly said.

“Gusty northwest winds should be expected for much of today as cooler, drier air moves into Southeast Texas,” forecasters wrote.