Spring made another first impression on Tuesday, and this one wasn’t nearly as appealing during an afternoon in which tornadoes danced across the plains of Johnson County, leaving hundreds of residents without power and at least one without a home.
Five reported tornadoes touched down in a span of two hours, including two in Burleson and Joshua.
Another was reported in Rio Vista later in the afternoon.
No injuries were reported and damage was moderate, according to officials, though one mobile home in Joshua was destroyed and two others sustained heavy damage.
Oncor said late in the afternoon that more 300 homes in Johnson County were without power.
“Thank God it’s Tuesday morning because that’s the only day [of the week] I’m gone,” said Patsy Wigam, 85, whose mobile home in Joshua was destroyed in the first storm, which hit near County Road 704 about 12:40 p.m. A second tornado was reported down slightly after 2 p.m. near Farm-to-Market Road 917 and Texas 174.
“The good Lord looks after me. How do you think I got to be 85?”
That same storm caused extensive damage to her son’s home, which is on the same property.
Another home in the neighborhood sustained heavy damage to its carport and roof. On the same property, a large tree on was uprooted and lay on the ground.
United Coop Services workers were on hand to cut away broken and damaged limbs but paused about 2 p.m. as heavy rainfall began to move into the area.
Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Tim Jones said Red Cross volunteers were on the way to assist those with damaged homes.
Another man on the same street said the tornado damaged a tree on his property but otherwise left his home undamaged.
Rescue workers from several departments set up a staging area in the Joshua High School parking lot prepared to respond to any additional areas of damage.
Officials indicated that the most significant damage was limited to the Joshua area.
In Burleson, spokeswoman Sally Ellertson said damage in the city was minimal. No injuries were reported, according to the police department.
A few trees caught fire from down power lines, Ellertson said.
The National Weather Service won’t have a clear picture of what happened until sometime today when officials confirm the strength and width of the twisters.
It was too early to tell late Tuesday afternoon, though it didn’t take Johnny Pollock long to realize something was amiss at his home in unincorporated Johnson County, between Joshua and Cleburne.
Pollock was in his backyard when he saw the tornado bearing down. He jumped in his truck and took off (something officials discourage residents from doing). He returned home when he saw the tornado cross the road toward Union Hill Cemetery.
“If I’d been two minutes behind it would’ve got me,” said Pollock, as he surveyed damage to his property.
The tornado pulled some of the back tin off his mobile home, Pollock said, overturned a horse trailer, damaged two riding lawn mowers and other items.
The storm did, however, claim the life of a horse, which had to be put down after sustaining two broken limbs, Sheriff Bob Alford said.
Pollock found the horse nearby. It was unclear if the animal was picked up by the storm or became spooked in the chaos and tripped, officials said.
This report contains information compiled by Times-Review reporters John D. Harden and Matt Smith.