High winds, torrential rains and pea-size hail pelted Brown County for about an hour Wednesday then picked up and headed toward Dallas.
A tornado touchdown, reported at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday at County Road 135 and Highway 279 in north Brown County near Brownwood, was the seventh in a series of touchdowns between Sterling City and Brownwood, said Buddy McIntyre, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service out of San Angelo.
Exchanges on the scanner between law enforcement and fire department officials did not indicate any human injuries, but, according to the scanner exchanges a building “blew away.”
McIntyre said there would be no way to grade the tornado until NWS officials could investigate the site today.
“We’ll be out to look at that one and the other six that just cut a trail through West and Central Texas,” McIntyre said. “What we have is an extremely unstable storm system — we’ve been watching all day — that got its start along the Texas/New Mexico border and just keeps going.”
Brownwood city officials activated the “Code Red” alarm just before 4 p.m., which transmitted successfully to land lines, but cell phone services did not work.
The Brownwood airport recorded winds of up to 55 mph, emergency management coordinator James Cook said.
During the storm’s almost hour-long visit in Brown County, scanner conversations were constant with numerous dispatches of blown down or lightning-struck trees, roofs blown away, sparking transformers on Austin and Coggin avenues, downed power lines in the 2500 block of Durham in Brownwood and an overturned tanker near the Brownwood Independent School District’s bus barn on Stewart Street.
According to Cook, the rain caused street flooding in some areas of Brownwood, but no streets were closed and no residents were evacuated.
“We’ve just got trees down all over town,” Cook said.
Early Fire Chief Travis Eoff said there were “some fairly good-sized limbs” in Early streets, but that as far as he knew Wednesday evening, there wasn’t any major damage.
A voice on the scanner at about 4:30 p.m., identifying its location “in Zephyr,” reported “pea-size hail” there and “very high winds.”
“It sounds like a bunch of jet airplanes east of us,” the voice claimed.
By 5:20 p.m. Wednesday, the storm had “pretty much moved through Brown County,” McIntyre said, but added the system wasn’t losing any strength as it headed north toward the Metroplex.
Staff writer Steve Nash contributed to this report.