Storm packs a punch

A strong thunderstorm that moved through Bryan-College Station Sunday night caused wind damage around the area. Nearly 20,000 area power customers were without electricity at the peak of the storm, officials said Monday.

Utility crews spent the day Monday restoring power to nearly 20,000 Bryan-College Station customers after a round of severe thunderstorms rolled through the Brazos Valley Sunday night.

The storm packed wind gusts of up to 61 mph, according to the National Weather Service, leaving downed trees, snapped power poles and other damage in its path.

Bryan Texas Utilities said 15,000 customers were without electricity at the peak of the storm.

David Werley, executive director of business and customer operations at BTU, said the utility company’s service area had not experienced an outage of that size since a tornado touched down in Bryan in May 2016.

Downed trees and scattered limbs continued to prevent crews from accessing some power lines Monday, Werley said, but just 150 customers remained without power at 8 p.m. Monday.

Crews were working to restore service to all customers as quickly and safely as possible, he said.

“We did have significant transmission issues last night in addition to the multitude of distribution-related problems. We had one transmission line have two poles broken,” he said Monday.

College Station Utilities reported 3,500 customers without power at midnight Sunday, but power was restored to all customers before 7:30 p.m. Monday, according to the company’s outage tracker.

The storm was part of a system that moved in from North Texas, where it cause widespread damage Sunday afternoon. The National Weather Service said two tornadoes touched down in that area, an EF-1 in north Arlington and an EF-0 in north Fort Worth.

In College Station, the National Weather Service recorded sustained wind speeds of 45 mph at Easterwood Airport during the storm Sunday night, with gusts up to 61 mph.

The strong winds were accompanied by between three-quarters of an inch to 2 1/2 inches of rain across Brazos County, with reports of hail up to the size of golf balls in some areas, the National Weather Service said.

Damage in Brazos County was limited to downed trees, torn branches and debris scattered in neighborhoods and across parking lots. On the Texas A&M campus, the sliding glass doors at the Oceanography and Meteorology Building were blown in by high winds, according to a report on the National Weather Service website.

Scattered thunderstorms return to the forecast on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. In the meantime, expect partly cloudy to sunny days, with high temperatures approaching 100 degrees Wednesday through Friday.

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