National Weather Service surveys tornado damage in Sundown - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

National Weather Service surveys tornado damage in Sundown

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SUNDOWN, TX (KCBD) -

The National Weather Service team in Lubbock wasted no time assessing the damage from Wednesday's storm.

A team of meteorologists say an EF-2 tornado touched down in southern Hockley County four miles northwest of Sundown.

"Numerous power poles have been downed by the tornado as well as a tank battery of a well site. At the Oxy plant, there were some buildings that were damaged, some metal tin that was ripped off, blown across the road and did some damage," said Steven Cobbs.

Cobbs, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says winds reached up to 115 mph, causing approximately 30 downed power line poles.

"It looks like the tornado path is about two miles long and a quarter mile wide. So based on the damage length is was probably on the ground for maybe 5-10 minutes," Cobb said.

The Hockley County Emergency Communications Team Coordinator Jeff Pharis says there is a strategic plan whenever a tornado touches down in their area.

"Once we have a confirmed tornado on the ground, we relay our reports to the Emergency Operations Center back in Levelland and the National Weather Service so they can get the warnings out so we can sound the sirens back in Levelland to warn people of a approaching tornado," Pharis said.

Pharis says they deployed all of their units out in the field to monitor the weather. But he says they ran into some complications.

"The visibility was absolutely horrible. Had a lot of dirt in the air and at times our visibility was half a mile at best. So we were worried about if we had anybody that was in the path of the tornado and not able to see and help warn those people," Pharis said.

Nevertheless, Pharis says he is grateful the tornado touched down in an open field and no one was injured.

"We always hope it happens in an open field and never a populated area and last night was one of those instances and we are very glad that no one got hurt," he said.

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