RIO VISTA, TX - The tornado hit Rio Vista in Johnson County just before midnight. It consisted of 80 mph winds and hail the size of softballs.
Chris Pinyan rode out the storm in a shelter and heard it roar overhead, “Door started vibrating real bad; it created a suction in there. You could hear roaring, you could hear debris flying and crashing.”
Monday morning, the folks in this town of 870 checked out the damage. The playground of the elementary school was demolished, trees snapped in half, and a semi was blown over. Jason Gentry says everyone is still trying to settle down, "I know our babysitter lost her house due to flooding and all of that so it's pretty shocking for everybody."
No official word yet on the price tag of all this damage but it's likely to be high. The good news? Despite the destruction, nobody was hurt. The morning after was spent dealing with flooding and power outages and picking up the pieces.
Anita Foster, Regional Chief Communications Officer for the American Red Cross, says the city was actually very fortunate, "The tornadoes tended to stay in very rural areas in fields and pastures and not down neighborhood streets and that is such good news given the severity of the storm."
As usual, there's always a silver lining or two after a dark and stormy cloud moves on.