CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
LLANO — High winds and heavy rain whipped through parts of the Highland Lakes and Llano on March 28, causing several thousands of dollars in damage along with temporary power outages. Officials warn more severe weather could be on the way.
“We just basically had some straight-line winds that took a few roofs, tree limbs, and stuff like that,” Llano County Sheriff Bill Blackburn said. “Mostly, the problem will be the clean up.
“I saw Llano city crews hauling tree limbs, getting them out of the roadway,” he added.
Potentially, the costliest damage occurred in the city limits at Chaparral Lone Star Inn, located in the 700 block of West Young (Texas 29), where wind ripped nearly half the roof off of the building and sent debris into the parking lot of a nearby business.
Other reports of damage included a trampoline lodged in a tree and branches toppled onto rooftops of homes and businesses, primarily just off the Texas 29 and 71 corridors.
Fortunately, no injuries or fatalities were reported.
In Burnet County, a storm system dropped several inches of rain onto certain areas with lightning strikes causing temporary power outages. The downpour also raised concerns about rain-swollen low-water crossings.
“The important thing to remember anytime we do have heavy rainfall in the area, flooding does come up very quickly in Marble Falls and Burnet County,” Marble Falls Fire Rescue Chief Russell Sander said. “Specifically, we always say never enter the water day or night, but at nighttime, be very cautious because you could be driving through an area that has water you can’t see because of limited visibility.
“It doesn’t take a lot of rainfall to cause some quick flooding of the low-water crossings and the streams,” Sander added.
According to the National Weather Service, damaging weather conditions could persist through the weekend, April 1-2, with a 70-90 percent chance of thunderstorms.
“We’re just going to watch the weather like we usually do to answer any emergency calls and assist the public if there’s any danger,” Blackburn added. “If we have any rain, watch for road closures, lightning strikes (for the potential fire danger and power issues).”
Residents should consider the following severe weather precautions:
• avoid traveling through rain-swollen crossings with or without barricades in severe weather;
• in a low-water crossing or creek, 12 inches of water can sweep away a car, while two feet of water can sweep away any size vehicle;
• check tire and vehicle conditions to avoid hydroplaning on rain-slicked roadways;
• and compile important documents such as insurance forms, medical records, Social Security cards, and birth certificates in a so-called “go kit” to transport quickly in the event of an evacuation.
Also, public safety officials recommend residents sign up for alerts at warncentraltexas.org to receive emails, texts, and robocalls regarding impending severe weather.
“I signed up my phone and actually got the severe weather alerts that came across,” Sander said. “With the severe season coming up, if we have tornadoes, that system will be used to notify residents so they can take immediate shelter.”