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Storm strands tour boat, causes damage across Highland Lakes

A display metal building in Llano crashed into a pole supporting a Pizza Hut sign due to high winds during a storm June 9, 2019. Photo courtesy of Gilbert Bennett


About 80 people waited out a storm June 9 in a tour boat beached on a Lake Buchanan island.

The private charter group was at Shaw Island when Vanishing Texas River Cruise Captain Shawn Devaney noticed storm clouds quickly building that evening.

“Our best bet was to stay (at the island) and ride it out,” he said the following day. “I didn’t think we could make it to our dock in that period of time.”

Devaney said he did not want to get caught in open water as the storm arrived and did not expect winds to be so high as they waited out the storm.

Large waves, which Devaney estimated to be 5 feet, battered the boat against the island. Winds of up to 40 miles per hour would not have been an issue for the boat, Devaney said; however, gusts above 60 mph caused the boat’s generator and electrical system to lose power.

Once the storm passed, first responders took the passengers, none of whom were hurt, from the tour boat to land on the Llano County side of the lake then transported them by van to their vehicles parked at Vanishing Texas River Cruise.

Devaney said the boat is “fine” and didn’t sustain damage. After some cleanup and minor maintenance to the engine, the tour boat should be back in service by the end of the week.

From Llano to Spicewood, the storm caused damage to buildings and trees as it moved through the area Sunday evening.

According to Pedernales Electric Cooperative, outages peaked at 8 PM with 286 total outages affecting 14,353 customers.

Residents reported downed trees and damaged roofs in Marble Falls and Spicewood. First responders and law enforcement reported no damage that affected public safety.