Point Venture damage was likely due to straight line winds, not tornado

Point Venture storm damage. (Courtesy: Donnie Norman)

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The Point Venture community has a lot of clean-up ahead of them after heavy storm damage. Located along Lake Travis, the area was hit hard by wind and rain Sunday morning.

Dozens of trees were knocked down and several roofs were ripped off structures. The Chief for Travis County ESD No. 1 believes a funnel cloud touched down in the area around 9:30 a.m. But after conducting an on-site investigation, the National Weather Service said that strong 70 to 80 mile-per-hour straight-line winds — not a tornado — caused the damage.

NWS investigators said that in a survey of the area, they found several damage indicators — both trees and structures — but that there was not enough evidence to rule it was caused by a tornado. The investigation is continuing though, after video of a possible waterspout was shared by an area resident Monday.

“It’s devastating,” said Tania Spikes, General Manager of the Point Venture Property Owners Association (POA). “As far as the POA’s perspective, all the amenities were touched, all of them were devastated in some way. From our office complex, parks, pools, golf course, this marina obviously. There wasn’t anything that wasn’t touched by the storm,” said Spikes.

The Gnarly Gar, a floating restaurant along the lake was also hit. The storm damaged its roof and set off the fire suppression system, flooding the inside of the restaurant. The owner says they had just finished a long-anticipated renovation of the place.

“This will be the best lake summer we’ve had in six or seven years,” said Gnarly Gar owner, Todd Hynes. “People have been banging down our door to get here and they finally were able to get here and now we’re going to have to close for a short while longer.”

The Gnarly Gar will temporarily shut down as they fix damage from the storm (Courtesy Amanda Brandeis)
The Gnarly Gar will temporarily shut down as they fix damage from the storm (Courtesy Amanda Brandeis)

Sharon McNair’s niece lives in the neighborhood and said a roof was blown onto their’s. Fire crews had to walk through her home to make sure it was safe to be in.

“You’ve got a lot of roof damage, decks, water leaking. Lots of leaky water,” said McNair.

Once the storm cleared out, community members began to pitch in and help others out. Neighbors were out with chain saws to clear out broken trees, and handing out water to volunteers.

Despite the property damage, no one in the neighborhood was hurt.

“I’m grateful. The sun is shining and we can dry out,” said McNair.

 

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