Weather and Volunteering
While staying in Brady, Texas with Matt's Parents we had an opportunity to volunteer a little time to the town of Richland Springs, Texas which suffered a crazy weather event. This little town is only one square mile in size. The area outside of town is made up of ranch land with lots of open land with little on it. Matt and I were headed to Austin to meet up with friends for the weekend and passed through Richland Springs early in the morning Saturday, May 26th, 2018. We had seen the thunderstorms the night before on our weather apps but they didn't seem too significant. That turned out not to be the case, this poor town had a direct hit by the storms which only took 10-15 minutes to blow through town with 80-90 mile per hour wind and tennis to baseball size hail. Had it only been a mile or two in either direction it would have missed the town entirely. Instead it made a bullseye for the small Texas town.
When we drove through Saturday morning we saw leaves and branches all over the road for about a mile. We figured that they had just had some really bad wind and had no idea of the true scale of damage. We came back through Saturday evening and noticed power company vehicles as well as boards on the windows of the buildings right near the highway. It appeared the storm was much worse than we first thought. On Sunday morning at church in Brady we talked to a gentleman who had family in this town and told us just how bad the damage actually was. We decided to load up a cooler of water and head over to see if there was anything we could help with.
When we arrived we found a command post set up at the fire station. Many people from all over the area had shown up to help. We ended up working with a crew of people with trucks and trailers who were going from house to house cleaning up fallen trees, branches, and other debris that had been strewn all over. Almost every building and house in town lost windows on at least one wall of their home. There was damage everywhere you looked. It was absolutely a miracle that no one was hurt in the storm. According to the news there was not a Tornado. Matt and I were both amazed at the amount of damage even though no Tornado was reported. We met one person who had all sorts of broken stuff all over their yard but the most amazing was the trampoline that had been launched about 8-10 feet into the air and up onto a tree branch. The tree branch had poked through the trampoline and was suspending the trampoline in the air.
We met another couple who were living in a little travel trailer while fixing up an old house to get it livable. When the storm came through they were in the travel trailer and opened the door to see what was coming, once opened the wind abruptly blew it closed and they were unable to get it reopened. They were attempting to go in the house to take shelter but ending up have to duck and cover in the trailer. This ended up being a very scary few minutes. They were fortunate that the trailer was parked right next to the wall of the house which somewhat protected them. They lost trees and windows. Nearly every car in town was destroyed by the hail, many lost windows and were dented beyond repair. Again though not a soul was injured which was absolutely amazing. I was amazed at how this little town really pulled together to help each other out. Even though it would be some time before the damage was completely erased you could tell this was an awesome little community with really great people. We only got to spend the afternoon with the other volunteers but it was well worth it.
Sorry there aren't any pics, we just didn't have time or think about it at the time. So...
Below is a link to a news report with pictures and more information.