Gillespie County sees several days of severe weather

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An abundance of rain, wind and hail pounded Gillespie County over the past several days.

Parts of Gillespie County saw half-dollar-sized hail and two inches of rain Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

“It was some pretty big hail,” NWS Meteorologist Ethan Williams said of the 1.25-inch hail. “Much larger hail was reported in the southern part of Gillespie County.”

Williams said he’s received reports of hail damage just east of Harper, as 1.75-inch hail fell further west of Fredericksburg.

“Typically, with this type of hail, people experience window damage, windshield damage to cars, car dents, car roof damage and damage to crops,” Williams said.

Thursday’s rain seemed much spottier than Wednesday, according to local reports.

To stay safe during severe weather, Williams said best practices are to park cars under a carport or a garage and, during a tornado, be sure to shelter in a solid structure with no windows.

 

Rain

Areas of Fredericksburg received more rain Thursday than on Wednesday, but several other parts of Gillespie County didn’t even reach half an inch.

Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park reported only .08 inches of rain after Wednesday evening’s storm, but the rain hit hard on Thursday, as the park saw two inches. The offices of the Standard-Radio Post received 2.2 inches.

Willow City Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department President Janet Rabke reported 0.85 inches, or just shy of an inch of rain. They received much less rain on Thursday with only a 10th of an inch.

Kurt and Tuttie Geistweidt in Doss reported 1.80 inches of rain on Wednesday, but only 0.15 inches on Thursday.

Gold’s Orchard in Stonewall reported around a quarter of an inch of rain Wednesday. Stonewall’s Jenschke Orchards reported just over an inch on Thursday.

Harper locals on Wednesday reported about 3.5 inches since Sunday. They received another 2.2 inches on Thursday.

According to Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) lake level reports, the Pedernales River near Fredericksburg rose from six feet at 11 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, to 14 feet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 28. It was to eight feet by this morning.

 

 Locals’ reports

Gillespie County residents reported their weather experiences.

Jack Schumacher, who lives nine miles northwest of Harper, sent in photos of hail nearly blanketing his road. He said the hail was small however, and did not cause any damage to his property.

Bob Loth, CEO of Central Texas Electric Cooperative, said there were no reports of power outages in Fredericksburg. Most outages were reported in Kerr and Kendall counties and on the southwest side of Gillespie County.

“We sent five crews to Kerrville. There must have been a tornado that touched down there because 10 to 20 poles were broken,” Loth said.

He also received reports of hail damage about 8-10 miles west of Fredericksburg in Harper.

Most of the outages were experienced in the same areas on Thursday, but Loth said the biggest difference was an outage at a 1,000-meter feeder on Hollmig Lane that lasted for about an hour.

“We had other outages but they only affected about 400 people,” Loth said. “This outage probably affected about 1,000 people.”

Lindsey Jenschke, co-owner of Jenschke Orchards, said while they have lost some peaches to wind from storms on Sunday and had some dings due to hail damage this season, their crop has stayed healthy.

“We just keep holding our breath,” Jenschke said. “So far, we’ve kept our heads above water.”

Crews with the City of Fredericksburg Street Department only had to close some low water crossings on Schubert and Edison streets, said Assistant City Engineer Garret Bonn.

“The biggest impact was fallen trees and limbs,” Bonn said. “Because of the saturated ground, several big trees were uprooted.”

If anyone has reports of weather-related damage and would like to share, email them to samuel@fredericksburgstandard.com, or send a message to the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fredericksburgstandard.