Storm blasts Austin, knocks out power to thousands

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Energy said power had been restored to most customers by 4 p.m. after a powerful storm rushed through the city on Monday evening.

The utility said they had repairs to make at more than 130 sites after the storm blew through and initially reported approximately 12,000 customers without power on Monday.

Five circuits that were knocked out during the height of the storm had also been restored.

Austin Energy had as many as 23 restoration crews and several tree-trimming crews in service, with several of them working through the night.

High winds in the area Tuesday also knocked power out to some others.

The storm Monday raced in from the west at about 40 mph packing high winds and heavy rains. In some spots, hail covered the ground so thick it looked as though a snow storm had passed through.

One inch of rain fell over Barton Creek and over the Colorado River in East Austin, but most amounts were much lighter due to the rapid movement of the storms.

In the West Campus area, reports of toppled tree limbs and scaffolding from a job site at 24th and San Gabriel streamed in.

First responders on the scene said high winds that moved through about 7:30 p.m. likely caused scaffolding to fall on top of an SUV driving down the street.

“I was hearing pieces of wood falling down on top of our vehicle,” said Madelyne Rodriguez. “I was wondering at what time it was going to fall inside the car and hurt us. Thank God nothing like that happened.”

Rodriguez and others inside the car were not injured and were able to get out of the car safely.

Crews spent several hours removing the scaffolding from the road, and 24th Street was shut down at the intersection of San Gabriel. The scaffolding also hit several communications lines but did not interfere with power lines.

Bright sunshine will rule the rest of the work week in the Austin area, as highs rise above 80 degrees in some areas Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons.  However, clouds will begin entering our skies Friday afternoon/evening.  This will end up being the indicator that storm is set to bring more scattered thunderstorms next weekend.

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