Lubbock residents cleaning up after storm damage

Thursday night’s storm left downed trees and flooded roads across town.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 5:53 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The storm that came through Thursday night brought strong winds and left some damage across town. So, Lubbock residents were seen across town cleaning up Friday.

Chris Burns said his power went out at 2:30 a.m. Friday morning. It was raining hard and he knew it was going to be bad.

“I’m thinking oh this is going to be ugly,” Burns said.

KCBD’s Chief Meteorologist John Robison said the storm came with wind speeds averaging 60 to 70 mph in Lubbock.

“We had a lot of downburst-type winds,” Robison said. “We had some of those early in the evening between 10 and 11 here in Lubbock, bur generally the strongest winds were that 3:30, 3-4 time period.”

That wind took some branches down from Burns’ trees that he had to clean up in the morning.

“We’ve got some old oaks like most of the oaks in this neighborhood and they just didn’t make it through the storm,” Burns said.

In a lot of circumstances, a downed tree can be dangerous. Casey Hildebrandt owns Hildebrandt Tree Tech. He said his crews had an uprooted tree leaning on another one. In those situations, he said it’s best to call a professional so no one gets injured.

“We’ve got powerlines behind us, and we’ve got a dislodged tree hung in another tree, and when you have that situation and you start making cuts, weight can shift and then things get real dangerous,” Hildebrandt said.

Hildebrandt said that downed trees were a result of both high wind and heavy rainfall.

“In this situation we had super saturated soils with the intense rains we had combined with some wind, and that caused on this particular tree a root failure,” Hildebrandt said.

Burns also had some damage from the heavy rainfall. He is doing work on his back patio that currently has cracks in it, leading to an unpleasant surprise after the storm.

“And that’s when I realized our basement was starting to turn into a swimming pool because it was just pouring down there,” Burns said.

Heavy rain closed FM 835 near Buffalo Springs Lake where the standing water was nearly two feet deep. The storm also knocked down trees and washed out canyon walls at the lake.

“This is the worst damage that we’ve seen in the past five years that I’ve been here,” Buffalo Springs Lake General Manager Brandon Powell said.

Powell says crews are working to open all roads and fix everything one step at a time.

“As of right now, getting the roads clear so it’s safe to travel and hopefully keeping our lift stations up and running as well,” Powell said.

As for how you can prepare for the next storm, Hildebrandt said proactive maintenance is key. He said a good fertilization system to ensure strong roots and making sure to not overwater can help your trees stand tall during high winds.