Shared from the 1/10/2022 Houston Chronicle eEdition

Cleanup efforts begin after storms rock area

5 tornadoes confirmed, including in Humble and Kingwood

Photos by Jason Fochtman / Staff photographer

Strong winds and torrential downpours wreaked havoc throughout the area Saturday night, including this part of Humble.


Martha Berry, right, reacts after the building housing her gym business was destroyed by a possible tornado near South Houston Avenue.

Jason Fochtman / Staff photographer

The remains of a metal roof from a nearby business complex came to rest in an Humble neighborhood after Saturday’s storms.

Tabitha Hobley woke in the middle of the night to the sound of her neighbor’s trash can rattling in the wind. The longtime Humble resident looked out of the window and saw outdoor chairs and tree branches strewn all over the backyard.

Hobley, 52, ran outside in the wind and rain to bring her last bit of Christmas decorations inside and went back to sleep. She was surprised when she ventured out Sunday morning to see trees down on top of neighbors’ cars and homes, fences blown over and debris scattered everywhere in her neighborhood, North Hollow Estates near George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado with winds up to 85 mph touched down in the vicinity of the airport. Hobley’s home suffered minor damage in comparison to her neighbors’: a few missing shingles and a leaking chimney, but she was without power going on 14 hours on Sunday.

“I’ve never seen it torn up like this,” Hobley said. “There were storage units that looked like they exploded.”

Strong winds and torrential downpours wreaked havoc throughout the Houston area Saturday night, damaging buildings and flooding low-lying areas.

The National Weather Service confirmed at least five tornadoes touched down in the region, including in Humble, Kingwood, Montgomery and the Dayton area. No injuries were reported.

Winds reached more than 85 mph in some areas, blowing off roofs and knocking down trees and power lines. More than 4,000 CenterPoint Energy customers were without power Sunday evening, down from 7,000 outages in the morning. Center-Point crews worked all Sunday to restore power to neighborhoods.

Roofing companies, including Elite Roofer in Montgomery County, were out helping residents put blue tarp on damaged roofs. Jordan Felder, whose wife, Mayela, owns Elite Roofer, said he expects a spike in repair calls over the coming weeks.

“Our phone rings every day, but when we have storms of this nature, it’s not uncommon for the call volume to triple or more,” Felder said. “When your neighbors are in need, you want to do the right thing and help people.”

Jarrah Owens said she slept through much of the storm’s wind, lightning and torrential rain. The 42-year-old real estate agent said she only realized the extent of the storm’s damage when she drove to her storage unit off West Lake Houston Parkway in Humble on Sunday morning to put away her Christmas decorations.

Nearly every row of the storage complex had roof damage, laying bare boats and personal possessions. Owens, an Humble resident, said her unit was the only one out of the dozen units in her row that still had a roof.

“We just got lucky,” Owens said. “I’m from Arkansas and lived in Tornado Alley. It was surprising to see something like this happen in Houston with such high winds.”

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