HUDSON — A powerful storm system blew across Angelina County late Monday night, displaying funnel clouds and dropping the first significant rainfall in months on the area.
The National Weather Service placed a tornado warning on the northwestern portion of the county for much of the night, and there were reports of twister-like conditions in Hudson, Burke and Redland.
Kimberly Stone, who stood with several friends on the front porch of a Hudson home as the storm developed, described a dramatic scene that played out over 10 or 15 minutes on the campus of the Hudson school district.
“I saw a funnel cloud over to the right,” she said, pointing across state Highway 94 toward the school complex. “It was really skinny but really long.”
Stone and her friends said lightning from the storm caused a transformer to explode and a tree on the Hudson campus to catch on fire. Another large tree, on the north side of Highway 94, snapped in two and fell onto the highway. The witnesses said a car slammed into it but then drove away.
“It was really, really scary,” Stone said of the night’s events.
Robin Merritt, owner of the home, said it was the first time she had seen anything like it.
“It scared us,” she said. “We were all running into the house, into the hallway.”
As of midnight Monday, there was no indication of how badly the thunderstorm had damaged Angelina County. There were multiple reports of trees down, flooded streets and power outages, but it was not believed that anyone in the county had been seriously injured by the storm.
While local residents and officials might have preferred the rain not come so fast and furiously, it was a welcome sight for a county that has been under a burn ban because of the state’s prolonged drought conditions. The Angelina County Airport received 0.57 inches of rain in the hour ending at 10:53 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service reported.
Today’s NWS forecast for Lufkin includes a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high temperature near 90 degrees, along with south winds between 10 and 15 mph. A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms is expected tonight.
Sunny skies are predicted for Thursday and Friday, but another good chance of rain is in the Saturday/Sunday forecast.
Andy Adams’ e-mail address is email@example.com.