Multiple locations in Somervell County — especially Glen Rose and Rainbow — were slammed hard by high winds the evening of Sunday, June 23 in a powerful thunderstorm that blew through.
While the majority of the major damage consisted of uprooted and broken trees, businesses such as Chachi’s Restaurant and Tres Rios RV Resort had to temporarily shut down for repairs and cleanup.
Electrical power was out across the county, with multiple power lines down as well as other crucial high voltage poles and other electrical equipment owned by Texas-New Mexico Power Company knocked out of service. Some customers were without power for as long as 48 hours, according to Somervell County Judge Danny Chambers.
County crews, as well as workers from the city of Glen Rose, stayed busy all week, cutting up and hauling off downed trees, limbs and other major debris.
Eric Martello, senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth, told the Glen Rose Reporter on Monday that straight-line winds likely reached speeds of 50-55 mph, but some localized downbursts with higher speeds may have occurred.
“There was no circulation. It was very intense straight-line wind,” Martello said. “There were two colliding outflow boundaries that conjoined between Weatherford and Fort Worth."
Chambers, a Somervell County native who has lived here most of his life, said he thinks the storm caused the most tree damage he has ever seen locally. He said that he had heard local estimates that the winds may have reached as high as 70 mph.
TRES RIOS HAMMERED
Likely the most extensive damage was done at Tres Rios RB Resort, located on recently-annexed city property off County Road 312 on the east side of Glen Rose. The property includes camping spots on not only the Paluxy River, but the Brazos and Squaw Creek.
Tres Rios Manager Renea Daily said three cabins had damage, and 75 or more trees were either downed or sustained partial damage in the storm. She said that many were uprooted or left twisted by the wind. Some trees landed on campers. Cleanup is still underway, but Tres Rios reopened on Friday of that week.
Daily said she wanted to thank the county for allowing trees and branches to be dumped for free during this crucial cleanup time.
About one-third of the tin roof was blown off Chachi’s Mexican Restaurant on U.S. Highway 67. Rosa Matheny, who owns the restaurant along with husband Lincoln Metheny, said they were in San Antonio on vacation when they got a call at about 1:30 a.m. the next morning, informing them of the damage.
“They said ‘Your roof blew off.’ We were going to go to Corpus Christi the next day, but we headed back (to Glen Rose). A little over a third of it was blown off. It landed about 150 to 200 feet away, on top of a GRISD bus barn chain-link fence.
“It was crazy. We had all kinds of water damage," Metheny said. "I’m just glad it wasn’t worse. We’ll recover from it.”
Chachi’s was closed Monday through Wednesday, but reopened — with the damaged side of the restaurant closed off — on Thursday of that week. The roof is covered by a tarp, and Matheny said she was hoping they might get the roof repaired within two weeks. The other side of the restaurant is open for business, with regular hours.
A large portion of the tin roof of the former A.J.’s barbecue restaurant was peeled back by the powerful winds.
Part of a large, white canopy covering the stage area of the Texas Amphitheater — the annual site each fall of “The Promise” — was ripped apart and blown away by the storm. Also at the premises, a large tent collapsed during the storm and a couple of glass-topped tables were broken.
The wind also did some roof damage at Glen Rose High School, but in a different way. Some tin that was in place covering up rooftop air conditioning units was blown off, causing 14 tears in the roof. Fortunately, the damage from incoming rain was limited mostly to some ceiling tiles. The holes have been repaired, according to the information provided by the GRISD's Assistant Superintendent of Operations Tommy Corcoran.
No injuries were reported in connection with any of the damage caused by the strong winds or blowing debris.
An 86-year-old county resident and his wife had a large pecan tree downed by the storm, and others came to the rescue to help him clear away the mess.
Marilyn Phillips, a SISD School Board member, said that word got out on Facebook within 30 minutes. People responded, showing up at the elderly couple's home with chainsaws and trailers to do the heavy work they couldn’t on their own.
“A half dozen of them have been high school students,” Phillips said of the volunteers. “So we have seen a lot of good will.
“It’s pretty amazing to watch. It’s just heart — the heart and soul of this community. It shows the character of Somervell County.”