A Strong Thunderstorm Topples Trees in Odessa

A Strong Thunderstorm Topples Trees in Odessa

The National Weather Service says a microburst may be to blame for the damage.
ODESSA, TX, (Local Big 2 News) "I was shocked," said Frank Fahlstrom, who witnessed the storm Wednesday evening.

Electric crews work to restore service Thursday afternoon, after strong winds whip through an Odessa neighborhood, knocking down trees and splitting power poles.

"I heard a big old crash, came out here and checked what it was and it was a big old tree," Fahlstrom described.

Over a dozen trees could be seen down in just a few blocks near East 42nd street. Many houses were spared a direct strike, but one man was not so lucky.

"I ran inside called my best friend and told him that his tree fell on top of his truck," explained Fahlstrom.

Unfortunately the truck is totaled. Over the years, the tree actually served as natural protection for his neighbor's house, which sits on a curve in the road.

"It was hit so many times with vehicles, it never did fall, but now last night a big old gust of wind brought it down," Fahlstrom said.

The recent drought killed off many trees, making it only a matter of time before high winds knocked them over.

"They've been dead for a couple of years and when the wind gets up, there's nothing to hold it in the ground and it just falls over," said David Boatright, from Yardworks Tree Service.

It has been said that every dark cloud has a silver lining, and yesterday was no exception, with landscapers across Odessa getting extra business.

"As long as nobody gets hurt, anytime you have a storm come through, it's just like the roofers anytime you have a hailstorm, the roofing business gets busy, any time you have a storm come through and knocks the trees over, business goes up," explained Boatright.

There were no severe thunderstorm warnings issued for this storm yesterday, because the type of thunderstorm that produced this microburst was a "pulse" thunderstorm. This type of storm can develop overhead quickly and die out just as fast. Pulse storms do not typically produce severe weather.

Microbursts are very localized gusts of strong wind that come out of the base of a thunderstorm. Winds at Schlemeyer field yesterday gusted up to 58 miles per hour, which is just two miles per hour shy of severe limits.

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