Storm batters much of region
Last updated 5/25/2023 at 12:24pm
Tornado and flood warnings kept area residents with an eye to the skies on Wednesday night.
A confirmed, large and "extremely dangerous" tornado was located by radar near Broadview at 7:09 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. A tornado warning issued for east-central Quay and northeastern Curry County expired at 8:15 p.m.
Tornado sirens were blaring in Farwell around 9:15 p.m. (CDT) after Parmer County Sheriff's deputies spotted a tornado on the ground "near the state line," according to Farwell Police Chief Larry Kelsay. The sirens stopped about 9:35 (CDT) and National Weather Service did not issue a tornado warning for Parmer County. Fox-14 TV in Amarillo reported there was "rotation" in the clouds near the weigh station just outside Texico.
Curry County Emergency Management Director Dan Heerding said Grady sustained hail damage and there was debris on the highway. Damage caused from the tornado reported near Broadview was not immediately known.
"This is a particularly dangerous situation. Take cover now!" NWS warned residents when it issued the first tornado warning of the spring for Curry County.
The storm was moving southeast at 25 mph about 8:30 p.m. The Pleasant Hill community in northeast Curry County and parts of Parmer County were in the path of the storm.
NWS stated the tornado was expected to remain over "mainly rural areas of east-central Quay and northeastern Curry counties." But it also warned anyone in its path was in danger.
"Flying debris may be deadly to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be destroyed. Considerable damage to homes, businesses and vehicles is likely and complete destruction is possible," NWS reported.
Grady resident Bobby Windham described the weather as "I can't see anything," about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"The ground is full of golf-ball sized hail, that's why I'm stuck in my barn, it's still hailing. There's rolling thunder. The warning siren is still going," Windham said.
Windham said he talked with a neighbor who "just bought a new truck." The neighbor told Windham all the glass on the vehicle was broken.
In addition to the tornado warning, the city of Clovis is under a flood advisory until 10:45 p.m. Wednesday. Also, parts of Curry, Roosevelt, Quay and Parmer counties are under a severe thunderstorm warning late into Wednesday night. NWS warned of "90 mph wind gusts and two-inch hail" are possible with this storm.
Hard rain and high winds were battering much of the region by 9 p.m. Wednesday, including in Portales.
Clovis saw ping-pong-ball sized hail. Multiple windows in vehicles were reported busted by the hail. Power outages were reported in Clovis.
"There are streets that are flooding and we have debris covering the roadway (in Clovis)," Heerding wrote in an advisory about 9 p.m. Wednesday. "Please stay home if at all possible."
Clovis police on their Facebook page urged area residents to exercise caution:
"Because of this weather event, there are power lines down, trees down, lights damaged and large amounts of flooding. If an area looks flooded, DO NOT drive into it. Be careful around the areas of town known to flood, please don't endanger yourselves or others."
NWS reported parts of the region had received more than 2 inches of rain by 11 p.m.