City of Bowie sees massive damage from Friday night’s storm believed to be tornado

Shortly after 8 p.m. Friday night a storm believed to be a tornado, swept through Bowie causing massive damage through downtown and in the south side of town.

Emergency responders from all over the county converged on the Bowie to help rescue people who were pinned in their home from collapsed roofs or where trees had fallen into their homes. Power was out across the city and while it came up for parts of the city around 4 a.m. it was out again after 6 a.m.

Bowie Police Chief Guy Green said Saturday morning as far as they know there have been no major injuries or fatalities. Citizens are urged to check in with friends and family to make sure they are safe and accounted for.

City officials were already meeting with state emergency management officials early Saturday to initiate a response.

Mayor Gaylynn Burris said early estimates show at least 50 businesses damaged and at least that many houses. She expects that number to escalate.

Here are are some preliminary basics:

National Weather Service personnel were expected Saturday to examine the storm damage and make a determination if it actually was a tornado.

The Texas Department of Emergency Management is in the city helping coordinate activities. They are sending instant management teams who will help coordinate things like removing debris.

Bryan Texas Utilities is sending six crews to assist electric crews to restore power. The initial estimate has about 400 power poles damaged. People on the south side of town are not expected to have power within the next 48 hours at least due to the damage.

Debris – Citizens are asked to place there debris such as tree limbs at the curbside near the street and they will be collected.

Lake Amon Carter is closed. The lake is at 926.04, more than six feet above full level.

A press conference is planned for Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Roofs were torn off of these apartments on Wilbarger.
The Longhorn restaurant received extensive damage with all their windows broken out and the interior of the ceiling and parts of the roof falling in.
Kimber Creek Home store was destroyed in the storm. Numerous businesses along that block of Smythe had major roof damage. (Photos by Barbara Green)

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