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    A lot of rain in a short amount of time turned Second Street on the south side of Graham’s downtown square into a temporary river Sunday, May 8. Danny Giager of Fairview, Oklahoma, was in town tracking storms for Tornado Hunters with fellow team member Michael Becker of Graham when they stopped to help some local residents get their cars out of the rushing water. (Photo by Danny Giager)
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    Johnny Martin, a Possum Kingdom area resident, had some tree branches down during Sunday’s storm. (Photo by Mary Richardson)

Weekend storms cause minor damage in area

Mother’s Day 2016 came to a stormy end when thunderstorms with high winds and rain moved through this area Sunday evening.

According to the National Weather Service, the rain started in Graham just before 6 p.m. Sunday, May 8. It continued off an on overnight, with the heaviest rain coming 12 hours later, just before 6 a.m. Monday, May 9.

The storm system brought steady winds that were rarely classified as “calm” during the two days. At 6:15 p.m. Sunday, the wind was clocked at 24 mph with gusts up to 43 mph.  The same wind speeds were registered again at 12:15 a.m. Monday.

Graham received 2.79 inches of rain during the storm, temporarily flooding some streets in town. Additionally, there were some reports of downed trees or branches.

Once again, the rain is helping to keep Lake Graham more than full. The lake level peaked at 1,076 feet at 1 a.m. Tuesday, May 10. Likewise, Possum Kingdom Lake peaked at 999.19 feet at 3:15 p.m. Monday. The Brazos River at South Bend reached a gage height of 8.87 feet at 4:30 p.m. Monday before dropping back down. 

The storm was reported to have 30 mph as it passed through the Possum Kingdom area at about 6:45 p.m., Sunday, May 8, dumping nearly two inches of rainfall. 

The North Forty convenience store on North FM 2353 at Possum Kingdom Lake closed temporarily  due to damage done by the high winds. Signs were knocked over, and the store’s electrical pole was snapped and its roof  was damaged. Crews from United Cooperative Services worked to restore service on Monday.

John Verdi, owner of Boondocks at PK, stopped in to get gas at North Forty, but was unable to. Verdi said he also had some damage at his place of business and that he has looked everywhere for his marquee sign but that it is “gone for good.”

There were also some residents on PK’s Airport Road who sustained damage from the high winds and downed trees, as the storm cut its path along nearly the same route as it did in August of last year.

“It seems that the storm pretty much cut along the same path as it did last year,” said Johnny Martin, one of the residents on Airport Road, as he surveyed the damage in his yard. 

Looking next door at his neighbor’s house, who had broken windows and a tree still on its roof,  Martin said he felt very fortunate that the trees did not reach his home and cause more damage.

Although Tuesday was hot and dry, today’s forecast from the National Weather Service is for a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. South southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Tonight, showers and thunderstorms are likely with south-southeast winds at 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. The chance of precipitation is 60 percet.

Again on Thursday, showers and thunderstorms likely, according to the NWS, which predicts a mostly cloudy day, with a high near 77, north- northeast winds of 5 to 15 mph and a 60 percent chance of precipitation.

Friday’s forecast is “Sunny, with a high near 81. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon.”

But by Saturday, there’s another 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. The day is predicted to be mostly sunny, with a high near 83, south-southeast winds around 5 mph. Saturday night has a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. 

On Sunday, the forecast is for a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, partly sunny, with a high near 84. The storm predictions continue Sunday night with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. 

Next Monday shows a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, partly sunny, with a high near 86.

For more details, check the National Weather Service website for updated information at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov.

Mary Richardson contributed to this story.

The Graham Leader

620 Oak Street
P.O. Box 600
Graham, Texas 76450
Phone: (940) 549-7800
Fax: (940) 228-0589