The rare June cold front that blew into New Braunfels and Comal County on Sunday evening didn’t bring a lot of rain, but several hours of lightning and high winds throughout the area.
No significant damage was reported in town, but some damages were reported in the Canyon Lake area, where high winds toppled tree limbs in residential areas and collapsed a line of storage buildings at a Jacobs Creek-area business on Farm-to-Market Road 306.
“We had no calls for service, but there was significant damage in the area,” said Darren Brinkkoeter, Canyon Lake Fire Department chief. “On the north side of the lake, along on 306, we definitely had hail, strong winds and lightning strikes that fortunately didn’t catch anything on fire and didn’t create any calls for us.”
Tina Knapp, property manager at North Canyon Lake Self Storage in the 17200 block of FM 306 in Canyon Lake, confirmed damages to several sheds at the facility.
“We’re in contact with our insurance company so they can come out and figure out the monetary amount of the damage,” she said. “We had damage to an entire row of storage units, but don’t yet exactly the extent of the damage. We have workers out repairing electrical lines that were also damaged.”
Weather experts confirmed Sunday’s event was brief and potentially damaging.
“We had numerous reports of lightning strikes and wind damage into the overnight hours,” said Ethan Williams, a National Weather Service meteorologist based at New Braunfels Regional Airport, said of the storm’s regional effects. “There were more than 600 lightning strikes and widespread wind gusts of 60 mph that exceeded 70 mph in some areas.”
Williams said the brunt of the storm was felt in the Austin area, extending west from Llano, Burnet, Travis and Williamson counties and east into Caldwell, Hays and Bastrop counties.
“We also had numerous wind reports in Comal County,” he said. “Most involved wind gusts in excess of 45 mph that brought down some tree limbs that fell onto power lines.”
Williams said only .22 inches of rain was recorded at the airport between 9 p.m. and midnight Sunday, with the highest wind gust clocked at 54 mph. Brief heavy rains — which cooled off heat indices as high as 106 at 7 p.m. Sunday — began moving south and east of the area after midnight.
There were few reports of damages elsewhere in the county.
“We had a few calls for tree limbs in the roadway on River Road and the road department was called out to remove them,” said Jennifer Smith, public information officer with the Comal County Sheriff’s Office. “Other than that there were no major issues.”
David Ferguson, New Braunfels Police Department communications coordinator, said officers responded to normal storm-related calls.
“None were for any significant damage, however, there were reports of minor damages to trees that lost branches and some involving power lines,” he said. “Fortunately there wasn’t a tremendous amount of rain, so there was only minor flooding to streets that usually have those kinds of issues during heavy rains.”
Ferguson said officers helped in alerting the city’s Solid Waste and Recycling Division and New Braunfels Utilities.
Pam Quidley, the utility’s manager of communications and external affairs, said NBU totaled just eight power outages that affected approximately 450 customers, with the longest lasting 2 hours and 51 minutes.
“The unusual northerly storm dropped about an inch of rain and produced up to 30 mph winds in some areas and lit up with the sky with approximately 175 lighting strikes,” she said. “We had no downed power lines, only vegetation that came down on primary lines because of the winds.”