Storms bring both blessing and curse

Courtesy Mike Kendrick

The Panhandle storms during Monday's early morning hours brought what the Texas Panhandle needs the most: RAIN. Deafening thunder awoke many locals, but it's probably fair to say waking up to that sound was exciting. The morning air was humid and the smell of rain overtook one's senses.

All in all, the storms were a pleasant experience, right? Maybe for most...

Despite the gift we have needed for so long, some tradeoffs came with it.

Lisa Reed and Baileigh Shields woke up this morning to find their garage door blocked by a large tree that had been split and toppled across the front of their property. At first, they thought lightning was the culprit. How else could the tree's sturdy truck obtain such a clean break?

Pastwa's Tree and Removal came to clean up the mess and discovered the tree had begun to rot from the inside, making it less sturdy and unable to withstand the pressures of high winds. Still, anyone residing in the Panhandle knows many things are no match for the most blustery days of Amarillo and the surrounding areas.

"There's no evidence of a lightning strike. Lightning causes the bark to shatter and that's not the case here," said Pastwa. "There's really nothing you can do to protect your trees from high winds, whether the tree is healthy or not."

Reed's husband, however, was somewhat lucky: "He normally parks in the driveway and if his truck had been in the driveway, it would have been smashed," Reed said. "So, we are very lucky he was parked in the street last night."

The tree scratched the garage door, but that was the only damage done. The family is grateful it was nothing more.

Additionally, nearly 3,000 Amarillo residents had power knocked out. Wes Reeves with Xcel Energy says he expects power to be restored to everyone by Tuesday evening.