SAN ANTONIO — Multiple tornadoes hit parts of San Antonio Sunday night as part of a storm system that caused significant damage to homes and other buildings, left thousands without power and sent emergency crews scrambling to aid storm victims and restore services.
The National Weather Service confirmed late Monday morning an EF-1 strength tornado with 105 mph and a path length of 4.5 miles touched down on Linda drive near the Quarry shopping center.
Later the NWS confirmed three more tornadoes, a second that hit the Northeast Side, a third twister struck the Northern Hills subdivision and the fourth near Garden Ridge in Comal County.
The second tornado, which touched down between Windrest and Converse, had a strength of EF-0 with winds up to 70 mph and a path length of 1.6 miles. The third tornado near Putting Green, also on the Northeast Side, was an EF-1 with 110 mph winds and a path length of 1.4 miles.
The fourth tornado was an EF-0 with 85 mph winds and a path of only 0.70 miles, the NWS reported. It hit just east of Schoenthal Road.
Late Monday afternoon Mayor Ivy Taylor issued a declaration of disaster because of the tornadoes.
“I spent several hours today surveying the damage in different neighborhoods near the Quarry and was amazed to see roofs ripped off homes only to be found mangled in branches several doors down and 50-year old trees uprooted and toppled on tops of cars,” Taylor said.
Taylor said the declaration is the first step in potentially securing state and federal resources.
As of 8:30 a.m., USAA had received more than 100 insurance claims on damage to homes and automobiles sustained during the overnight storm , spokesman Rich Johnson said.
Claims were primarily concentrated in Live Oak and Alamo Heights, Johnson said.
On the Northeast Side, at least 30 homes were damaged, some destroyed, in the Glen and Camelot subdivisions, according to Monica Ramos, Bexar County spokeswoman.
Ramos said the storm traveled down Walzem Road and onto Winsford, causing damage to numerous homes and causing debris to clutter roadways.
Several homes had roofs peeled off as a result of strong winds, according to Ramos, who also said no major injuries have been reported in the area.
“The whole house was shaking,” said Tammy Griffin, who lives on Stockport Drive.
Griffin said soon after she got the notification for a tornado warning last night she heard strong winds that sounded “just like a train” coming down her street.
Bexar County Public Works is currently working on clearing debris from roads and power lines.
According to San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Woody Woodward, only five San Antonio residents had minor injuries in the storms, even though more than 100 homes were damaged.
“Which is amazing,” Woodward said.
Ramos said CPS Energy is working on the downed power lines and that Bexar County Public Works crews were removing downed tree limbs to allow emergency vehicles to enter the area.
“We’re coordinating with local agencies to provide assistance to affected residents in the area starting at daylight,” Ramos said.
According to the CPS energy outage tracker, there are at least 764 outages affecting nearly 23,000 customers as of 6:51 a.m. Monday. The map shows outages mainly in the Alamo Heights and Stone Oak areas.
CPS Energy spokeswoman Nora Castro said while damage across the city was widespread, much of it was concentrated on the North Side. Last night 45,000 homes lost power due to the severe thunderstorm and as of 7 a.m. Monday 22,000 homes remained without power.
Castro said it was an “all hands on deck” situation at CPS Energy, with crews working as safely and quickly as possible to restore power.
CPS Energy warns residents to stay away from downed power lines or damaged equipment.
A photo posted to CPS Energy’s Twitter feed showed a transmission tower bent in half. Castro confirmed the tower is located near Uhr Lane and Higgins Road on the Northeast Side.
Kimberly White, who lives on Stockport Drive on the Northeast Side, said her home has been out of power since about 10 p.m. Sunday. She said she’s thankful she buys candles because it has been pitch black since the power went out.
by Tyler White, San Antonio Express-News
Updated 5:12 pm, Tuesday, February 21, 2017