Crews work to restore power after Pasadena area hit by tornado

Photo does not have a caption

PASADENA, Texas – The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF 1 tornado touched down Sunday evening in Pasadena.

The tornado tore down rows of power lines near the intersection of Fairmont Parkway and Shavers Street and caused multiple large trees to snap like toothpicks.

Many businesses were forced to close due to the power outage and a nearby school were without power Monday.                                                                                                                                                                   

Sra. Churros owners had to throw out all their ice cream, milk and perishable products used to make their crepes and churros. 

“Maybe $1,000 on the ice cream and then in the Dippin Dots about $300 and we just had a new order coming in Wednesday. We just canceled that order too,” said Carolyn Flores with Sra. Churros.

A vacant business just doors down from Flores’ shop had it's back walls yanked off by the fast-moving wind. Other businesses were left in the dark. 

South Houston High School is right at the intersection where the damage happened and lost power. Pasadena ISD announced just before 5 a.m. Monday that school would be closed for the day after crews work to repair the power lines.

All other Pasadena ISD schools will follow regular schedules.

Pasadena resident David Sunday said he and his wife were on their way to get something to eat when they noticed the sky started to change. They were close to the intersection of Fairmont Parkway and Shaver Street when they saw what appeared to be explosions in front of them. 

“It turned dark, the wind picked up and you could say, it all broke loose right here,” Sunday said. “It was like toothpicks, and I mean it went ‘pop, pop, pop,’ and the trees were just snapping."

His wife recorded video of the storm and the moments where the clashes happened. 

“I had seen the tip of a cloud and everything started exploding and then the trees snapped and it went into a lady’s truck and popped out her windows, front damage to the side,” said Sunday. “I noticed she got out right away, getting a baby out. I stopped and got out, but she got the baby out and ran away, she was running away from it.” 

The tornado damaged a building that was in the middle of a strip mall. The side of the building was gone and debris littered the parking lot. 

Rosa Rubaclava said she had arrived at her job and was in her truck when the storm passed. She said her truck started to lift off the ground and moments later she saw the building start to break apart. 

People like Carmen Jasso received the tornado warning. She sheltered inside her home but was surprised by what she saw when she came outside. 

"I just walked to the corner and I see all this damage I'm surprised, I'm very surprised that I'm alive and I’m surprised that we are safe,” said Jasso. 

The downed power lines blocked parts of Fairmont Parkway, making it impassable. 

The power outage impacted several apartments and forced restaurants and other businesses to close down.  

The traffic lights at the intersection of Fairmont Parkway and Shaver Lane were also not working. 

“Well, I guess the good Lord spared us because I had to get out and direct traffic, he used me,” said Sunday, who is a retired Houston firefighter.

Several Pasadena residents still remain without power, but crews are working to get everything back up and running.

CenterPoint Energy estimates 200 customers are without service in Pasadena. The company says energy should be restored in the area late Monday evening.

About the Authors:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.