Hail ravages US 287, shuts down highway

Courtesy Laura Grosser

Pronews 7 Continuing Coverage

Extreme weather, including heavy hail and flooding, paralyzed parts of the Panhandle Wednesday evening, shutting down highways.

Highway 287, which was previously at a complete standstill, has resumed traffic slowly. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) said crews will work throughout Thursday to remove ice buildup. That ice buildup is preventing proper drainage of water from the roadway, TxDOT said.

According to the TxDOT, Highway 136 at Fritch was closed in Hutchinson County because of flooding for a short amount of time. It was reopened late Wednesday.

Three to four feet of hail was reported near the Canadian River. Watch the video above from Storm Search 7 Storm Chaser Doug Blach. It was shot at Lahey Creek.

Storm Search 7 Chief Meteorologist Steve Kersh said the intense hail was something he had never before witnessed.

"It looked like soap suds," he said. "The storm was moving really slow and a combination of the pea-sized hail and four to six inches of rain created those conditions."

The Potter County Sheriff's Office confirmed motor vehicles were stuck in the ice and rain.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) reported extremely low visibilities in the area at the time of the storm. The main part of the heavy hail was reported four miles north of the Canadian River near the Fain Plant.

The rainfall affected drought-stricken Lake Meredith. As of 6:30 a.m., the lake's level rose half a foot from 29.84 feet to 30.35 feet.