Tuesday night around 200 Littlefield residents wound at the Lamb County Courthouse basement. Once city police Chief Bill McMahon spotted a tornado on the ground just north of town, citizens headed for shelter. City Manager Danny Davis says, "It was pretty exciting. Bill said he was under the clouds and starting to see rotation and dust build up underneath, all prime ingredients for a tornado, so he called in and we sounded the alarms."
Beyond some hail damaged trees and shrubs, and lots of standing water, Littlefield made it through relatively unscathed. Further north, it was a different story. Owner of Amherst Grain and Fertilizer, Dick McDaniel, says, "Apparently we had some horizontal hail and it took paint off the walls and busted some attic vents."
McDaniel can always tell when there's been a bad storm. The next day area farmers make his phone ring off the hook at looking for seed. He says, "Some of the cotton, it was pretty yesterday but not today. There's nothing there now."
The tornado that formed loosely right near McDaniel's business didn't do much damage. It was the wind and hail that came along with it that did. Cotton farmer Charles Hinds looks over his crops and says, "You see those with little stocks. They were stalks with leaves on them." The storm ruined at least half of Hinds' cotton crop. Over 56 years of farming, he's seen worse, but it's still disappointing. The field we found him at held his best crop, now he'll have to replant cotton or another crop altogether. He says, "We need to have a lot of luck. That's very important."
There's more bad news for cotton farmers. Plains Cotton Growers says Wednesday was the last day to plant cotton in Lamb County and have it covered by federal crop insurance.
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