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DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

MARBLE FALLS — Patti Burkhardt could only watch as hail from the April 2 thunderstorm ravaged her home’s skylights and tumbled through her house.“I have three skylights, and the hail just shattered them,” Burkhardt said. “I had ice all through the house.”

The line of storms rumbled across the Highland Lakes about 2 p.m. bringing rain, high winds and hail. It left behind wet ground and plenty of damage. Burkhardt said she’s lived in the area for several years and endured many storms, but this one hit her home the hardest.

“I have five dogs, and I had to go into the closet with them so they didn’t get hit by the hail coming through the (broken) skylights,” she said. “And then, all you could do is watch the water and rain pour in.”

After the initial line passed through, Burkhardt and family members went on the roof and covered the broken skylights. But to add insult to injury, a second storm that passed through about 11 p.m. the same day knocked over a tree that ended up taking down power lines.

“So then, we were without power for an hour or two,” Burkhardt said the next day. “But we’ll be OK, I think.”

As the storm rolled northeast, it took aim on the Tobyville community between Marble Falls and Granite Shoals. People came home to broken windows, damaged sheds and bare trees. Others had to shovel piles of hail from in front of doors to get in and out.

At Backbone Valley Nursery, 4201 FM 1980, staff watched as the hail pummeled plants and trees.

“It was devastating,” said Jessica Robertson of the nursery. “But we are open for business. We’ve had great support from the community and from the horticulture community.”

Robertson said the nursery should be fully stocked by April 6-7 or early next week.

“We’ve already been getting questions from people who lost their tomatoes, and we are getting in more tomato plants so people can replace the ones they lost in the storm,” Robertson said.

The hail stripped leaves and some bark from trees. Robertson said people should take a few days and then assess the damage to their plants and trees.

“(The trees) will recover. If the bark is damaged, it will grow over, but it may take some time,” she said.

The nursery staff is ready to answer questions people have regarding damaged trees and plants. Robertson said in her weekly email newsletter, she plans on addressing some of those concerns.

People can call the nursery at (830) 693-9348 or email staff at info@backbonevalleynursery.com with questions.

“We’re here, and we’re ready to help,” Robertson said. She added it’s not to late to replace damaged tomato plants.

While the storm was intense at times, it offered little relief to low lake levels.

“It added about a foot to Lake Travis and two-tenths of a foot to Lake Buchanan,” said Clara Tuma of the Lower Colorado River Authority. “The ground soaked a lot of the rain up. It was also so fast moving that we just didn’t get a lot of rain in the right places.”

Rainfall ranged from less than an inch in some parts of Burnet County to as much as three inches as reported in the Spicewood and Kingsland communities. According to LCRA records, the Kingsland area at Lake LBJ and RR 1431 experienced 3.2 inches of rain.

Though the storms didn’t contribute much to lake levels, they kept county and city crews busy throughout the day and into the night.

Burnet County Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Don Dockery said his crews responded to several reports of trees down across roads and low-water crossing issues.

“We manned the low-water crossing on CR 404 at Krause Springs most of the night,” he said. “The water at that crossing ran three feet over the road at one point. And it stayed at two feet over the road for quite some time.”

The crews were back on the road April 3 removing brush and debris.

“But as far as I know, nobody was hurt, so in that way, we were fortunate,” the commissioner said.

daniel@thepicayune.com

[tabs style=”default”] [tab title=”PHOTO 2″]Thunderstorm causes road closuresEmergency crews closed low-water crossings such as on Mission Hill in Marble Falls as flash floods swept through the Highland Lakes on April 2. A flash-flood warning remained in effect over parts of Blanco, Burnet and Llano counties until 7 p.m the same day. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

[/tab] [tab title=”PHOTO 3″]Thunderstorm brings hail damageKingsland Massage-Depot in the Historic Railroad District off RR 1431 in Kingsland reported broken windows as hail pelted the business during a thunderstorm April 2. Courtesy photo

[/tab] [tab title=”PHOTO 4″]Thunderstorm causes hail damageA Picayune reader submitted this photo of hail damage after an afternoon storm April 2. To show us your own photos, send them to editor@thepicayune.com. Visit our Facebook page to see more. Courtesy photo

[/tab] [tab title=”PHOTO 5″]Thunderstorm causes hail damageWhen the storm subsided April 2, Marble Falls resident Patti Burkhardt found hail throughout her house after it smashed out three skylights. The storm pelted several communities with hail, high winds and heavy rains, but it did little to raise lake levels. Courtesy photo

[/tab] [tab title=”PHOTO 6″]Thunderstorms cause hail damageMary Ann Fletcher of Marble Falls shows the damage the hail caused to her home in the Mormon Mill area. The April 2 storm left lots of damage in its wake, but the rainfall didn’t contribute much to area lake levels. Courtesy photo

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