By Darrell Todd Maurina
Up to five tornadoes touched down Tuesday evening in the rural area between Friona and Bovina, but no major structural damage was reported.
“We had several reports of small tornado touchdowns in Parmer County, one four miles southwest of Friona, and several to the west of Friona and north of Bovina,” said Shawn Ellis, a meteorologist at the Lubbock National Weather Service office.
One of those reports came from Friona Mayor John Taylor, who volunteers as a weather spotter.
“We had only one tornado on the ground, it didn’t last long, but I saw three funnel clouds while I was out,” said Taylor. “It was raining so hard it was difficult to tell, but (the tornado) was probably on the ground only a minute or so.”
Tornadoes weren’t the only weather problem.
“We had some very large hail northwest of Friona, baseball size,” Ellis said. “We have just pages of reports from all over the area. I’m sure there are some cars that have been badly damaged.”
The Bailey County and Parmer County sheriff’s offices both reported a number of power lines down and broken utility poles, but no injuries or building damage. Most rainfall totals weren’t yet available, but a weather service station south of Muleshoe reported 0.64 inches.
Some Friona residents said the rain was much worse in their area.
“The rain was pretty much pouring down pretty good,” said Teresa Morales, a clerk at a rural Allsup’s store halfway between Bovina and Friona. “I’ve worked here about 2 1/2 years and I’ve never seen anything like this rain before.”