Strong winds, rain and reported softball size hail tore through Brown County and the surrounding area during a rash of severe thunderstorms Friday night.

Throughout the night Brownwood, Early and Brown County emergency personnel responded to reports of downed tree limbs, power lines and other hoof prints of strong storms, but Richland Springs, just south of the Brown County border, received the most damage. 

“It was a super cell thunderstorm and it had winds of 80 to 85 miles per hour. It left a wind damage path that was about 1.5 miles wide and nine miles long,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Amy Campbell, based out of San Angelo, said of the storm.

Cleanup from Friday night’s thunderstorms continues with emergency officials clearing debris and repairing downed power lines. The Corinne T. Smith Animal Center requested help from citizens after employees discovered the storm severely damaged its chicken coop, blowing the coop completely off its foundation.

“There was also some very large hail, I think up to softball size that did a lot of damage to cars,” Campbell said. “Some of the damage was outside of Richland Springs, to the north and south. We found lots of evidence of damaging straight-line winds, 80 to 85 miles. Based on 

the media interest from the storm, we went ahead and sent out a storm damage survey team.”

Due to the storm, much of Richland Springs had been without water and at press time emergency personnel had restored most electrical outages, but were still working on restoring water to some homes. Campbell said there was nothing about Richland Springs’ geographical features that made it more susceptible to storms.

“It’s spring and storms usually hit in the spring. It just depends on where the storms develop and where they’re moving,” Campbell said. “… It was the atmosphere, where the storm developed and how it moved based on the steering winds.”