National Hurricane Center confirms Rockport-Fulton tornado, couple's home shows the aftermath

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The tornado was weak in nature Wednesday evening and caused very minimal damage. The tornado was an EF0 with maximum wind gusts of 85 mph.

ROCKPORT, Texas — The National Hurricane Center confirmed to 3NEWS on Thursday that a weak tornado hit the Rockport-Fulton area Wednesday evening.

The storm caused minor damage, uplifting a few carports and sheds and damaging the roof of one home. Most of the homes and buildings in the area — and even the RVs — were spared.

Cory Mottice, a warning coordinator meteorologist for the National Hurricane Center, surveyed the damage Thursday morning.

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“So it’s hard to tell sometimes when you have a very minimal amount of damage, but in this case it was a very clear circulation that went over, and we could see the debris being lofted into the storm on radar,” Mottice said early Thursday. “So we are confident that it was a tornado.”

The National Hurricane Center confirmed Mottice’s hunch just before 5 p.m. Thursday, officially declaring that it was a tornado that hit Rockport.

3NEWS Chief Meteorologist Alan Holt posted concern about wind rotation at 6:39 p.m. Wednesday. One minute later, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning. Initial reports of damage came in at 6:49 p.m.

WED 6:39p – some rotation showing up over Aransas Bay, east of Rockport. Could be a waterspout out there. It’s moving toward the Rockport Fulton area.

Posted by Alan Holt on Wednesday, June 19, 2024

“All day the Rockport-Fulton area was kind of the bullseye for some training thunderstorms,” Mottice added. “Just one after another kept coming in, and there was a lot of rotation early on over the water, but as soon as they hit the barrier island, they just kind of died out. But finally around 6:50 p.m. or so, we had some rotation that was able to sustain itself.”

The tornado had peak wind gusts of 85 mph and will be classified as an EF0 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Lost Buoys RV Resort in Rockport was in the direct path of the tornado. In a Facebook post Thursday, they thanked the community for its help and counted their blessings.

Last night we experienced a tornado about 7:00 ish. While the park experienced only minor damage, our elderly neighbor…

Posted by Lost Buoys RV Resort – Rockport,Tx on Thursday, June 20, 2024

Across the street, Sue Coats said the tornado came right by her RV and that she didn’t have time to leave.

She called it the “scariest thing” and posted some pictures to Facebook that appears to show the RV slightly damaged with some debris thrown around the yard.

“It kind of hopscotched its way along,” Mottice added. “It was the same area of rotation that produced some sporadic damage here and there.”

Bob Cragier and his wife Bonnie have lived at their Rockport property for 20 years.

“Well I was sitting inside here eating supper then I heard a whoop, whoop, whoop,” Bob said. “Next thing I knew I checked the house, the sheet rock in the bedroom was in the floor and this thing here was like this.”

Their carport legs are cemented into the ground, but the winds were so strong the carport was lifted on top of the house. This left a big hole in the ceiling of their master bedroom.

“Seeing all of it was kind of…I thought about Hurricane Harvey. It looked pretty bad,” Bonnie said.

Neighbor Harold Odem checked on the couple after the storm hit.

With the help of some other neighbors they were able to cover the exposed roof with a tarp. 

“Your neighbors is your best bet to count on, so, we try to help them, and Bob would be here in a minute if he knew we needed help,” Odem said.

Bonnie said if the next storm is bad, they will evacuate, but they will always return home after the storm passes.

“Some people will probably move out but it’s my home. I’m up in age and everything. And I just want to stay here, we love the land here,” Bonnie said.

In the meantime, the Craigers are waiting for their insurance company to assess the damage.