Hail Pounds Texas Panhandle
AMARILLO, Texas – Residents in the Texas Panhandle (search) tried to recover Tuesday from storms that brought winds of more than 70 mph and hail (search) the size of baseballs.
The Monday night storms caused at least $100 million in damage, said Sandra Ray, spokeswoman for Southwestern Insurance Information Service (search).
"Insurers and adjusters are saying this is one of the worst storms they have seen in the Panhandle and West Texas in 20 years," Ray said. "It's so bad."
"It looks like the damage that we have here is to the windows," said Mary Barlow, a spokeswoman for Baptist St. Anthony's Hospital in Amarillo. "We know that it's going go be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars."
The storms smashed almost all windows on one side of the six-story hospital and staff moved patients to the interior of the building. Barlow said Tuesday that about 100 rooms in the 410-bed hospital were affected. Only one patient sustained non-life threatening injuries.
She said the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit was hit and about a dozen babies had to be moved to the regular newborn nursery. By mid-morning Tuesday, though, she said the infants had been returned to their regular unit, smashed windows had been boarded up and debris had been cleared.
Homes and vehicles in the area also were damaged by hail up to baseball size. Windows were smashed on cars on some dealers' lots, and a Wal-Mart Super Center closed because its skylights were shattered.
Heavy rain flooded some underpasses and rural roads, and Hartley County Sheriff Franky Scott said water was up to 4 feet deep in some areas for a time Monday night.
Storms also developed in other parts of West and Southwest Texas, knocking down trees and sweeping vehicles off the road. No injuries were reported.