A typical late spring day turned into a stormy evening Wednesday.
Around 6:30 p.m., a tornado warning was issued for northern Wise County. Over the next few hours, storms would rumble through the county. Some areas received little more than rain and gusty winds while others experienced damaging winds and hail up to golf ball size.
Rainfall totals from around the county included 4.4 inches in Greenwood, 2.6 in Alvord, 2.25 in Rhome, 1.9 in Aurora, 1.68 in Decatur and 1 in Chico.
Several storm spotters reported tornado touchdowns from Texas 101 near Crafton to north of Alvord. On Thursday, the National Weather Service reported Wednesday night’s storm produced 16 confirmed tornadoes stretching from Montague County to just north of Goldthwaite in Central Texas. One of those confirmed tornadoes was near Alvord, although no other details were available as of press time Friday. It is not known if that tornado caused any of the damage reported by local residents.
The largest tornado was a 1/2-mile wide EF-4 that hit Granbury in Hood County, killing at least six people and injuring dozens. Three of the tornadoes were confirmed in Montague County – one just south of Amon Carter Lake, one near Belcherville and another near Nocona Lake.
The storm knocked out power to many customers, particularly in the northern part of Wise County, as winds ripped off tree limbs, which then fell into power lines. Sabrina Easley, area manager for Oncor, said at the peak of the storm, around 2,000 customers were without power Wednesday night.
Here’s a timeline of events formed from storm spotter reports via scanner traffic, posts from the public on the Messenger Facebook page and information provided by the Wise County Sheriff’s Department:
- 6:26 p.m. – The National Weather Service detects a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado 16 miles northwest of Chico moving east at 25 miles per hour. A tornado warning is issued for northern Wise County.
- 6:57 p.m. – A storm spotter says a tornado is on the ground at Texas 101 east of Crafton.
- 7:15 p.m. – Marble sized hail is reported in the Boonsville area.
- 7:21 p.m. – A storm spotter reports a tornado touchdown at Texas 101 north of Farm Road 2265.
- 7:26 p.m. – A spotter reports a tornado on the ground just west of U.S. 81/287 north of Alvord.
- 7:37 p.m. – A spotter reports a possible rain-wrapped tornado near Farm Road 1655 north of Alvord.
- 7:47 p.m. – Hail reported in Greenwood area
- 7:50 p.m. – Several trees are reported down in the area of County Road 2690 near Alvord.
- 8 p.m. – Hail reported in Balsora
- 8:05 p.m. – The National Weather Service says another storm is headed into Wise County from the west.
- 8:10 p.m. – Golf ball size hail reported in Runaway Bay
- 8:10 p.m. – Sheriff’s Office begins receiving reports of weather damage in Alvord area
- Around 8:30 – Boyd area reports hail ranging from pea-sized to the size of a dime and nickel. Sycamore area near Greenwood reports quarter-sized hail.
- Around 9 p.m. – Reports of storm damage in Greenwood area, including a home that is heavily damaged.