• Elizabeth Brummett

Severe Weather Advisory

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Late Wednesday, for the third time since we moved into our house a month ago, a nighttime thunderstorm brought hail. This storm made the previous laughable by comparison. We watched out the front windows as unrelenting gusts blew our trees sideways and hail pelted the house and landscaping. This photograph taken after the hail let up doesn’t remotely convey how bad the storm was.

Gusts up to 59 m.p.h. and 4″ hail were reported in central Austin. Timothy grabbed the largest hailstone in our front yard; though not record- breaking, its 3″ girth is nothing to balk at.

With the storm hitting from the west, our house was substantially sheltered by the other homes in our block. We had one broken window, the single second-floor window on the west side, and only the outside pane shattered.

The west-facing portion of the roof over the breezeway and garage has considerable damage, with pock-marks, cracked shingles, and considerable grit washed into the gutters. Most of the roof faces either north or south and may be less damaged, though we’ve not gone up there to look.

Speaking of gutters, every one is beaten up. Even those on the east side of the house were dented outward.

Our fledgling trees were also hit, though they’re healthy and should recover. The wire on the supports for the tree on the alley snapped, though the tree itself is still mostly upright.

This damage report is minor. The morning after the storm, Timothy and I went walking around with two neighbors from our block. Both of their houses had dented and cracked hardiplank siding but no other significant damage. As we discovered, we were all very fortunate.

The blocks further south were harder hit. On two long blocks near the greenway, the west-facing front facades had few intact windows. One street moved in around the same time we did. The other, still under construction, was described by a builder as a “war zone.” Damage to homes and landscaping was extensive elsewhere as well. Some street trees were blown over, and smaller trees and shrubs in the parks were also uprooted.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the storm. We’re feeling cursed, but I think we should count ourselves lucky.

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