By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
Copperas Cove – Fences, trees and other debris were flattened to the ground Sunday after a tornado ripped through Sleepy Hollow Lane.
The tornado, reported at 6:26 p.m., damaged houses on Sleepy Hollow and Carroll Drive, causing several mobile homes to shift on their foundations, trees to be uprooted and fences and other structures to be blown down.
Only one person was injured by the tornado and medical teams were able to treat the unidentified person on the scene, said Lt. Daniel Austin, of the Copperas Cove Police Department.
"We consider ourselves very fortunate in a tornado ... when we get out with one minor injury," he said.
The halves of the double-wide home of Terry Berg, a tornado victim, were pushed together and the middle of her residence was dislocated upward, she said.
Her home moved about three feet toward the street, pulling away from the deck and fence, which were left untouched.
"When we came out (of the bathroom), it was destroyed inside the house," Berg said.
A total of 18 people were displaced from their homes because of the damage, Austin said.
"Our house was basically tipped," said Brandon Mosley, a 16-year-old tornado victim. "Our house is basically trashed."
A large tree fell near the porch in the front yard of Mosley's residence.
Storm victims said the tornado moved fast after it appeared and gave them just enough time to react.
Both Berg and Mosley heard what they thought was a train and crammed themselves into a bathroom with other family members.
"When we shut the door, I wanted to make sure I had my husband and my son," Berg said. "That is all I care about, is them."
The upper limbs of nearby trees began to twirl and whip around just before the tornado hit and moments before Berg fled to the bathroom, she said.
The Bergs were in their bathroom for about 30 to 40 seconds before it got quiet and the tornado left, she said.
The tornado was caused by a low-pressure system said Mike Griffin, meteorologist for KCENT-TV.
"Lower pressure systems cause spin in the atmosphere, and there was enough spin for this system to produce a weak tornado," Griffin said.
Several areas in and around Copperas Cove and Kempner also flooded during the storm. Two areas on Farm-to-Market 2657, a road that intersects Sleepy Hollow Lane, flooded, causing road closures, Austin said. Another road closure was reported on Farm-to-Market 2808.
"Rain fell at about 2 inches an hour," Griffin said. "A weather watcher from Copperas Cove picked up 5.2 inches just today."
The tornado and the flash floods ended within the span of an hour for the area that was damaged, Griffin said.
"It popped in real quick and was over with in about forty-five minutes," he added.
The national weather service predicted more rain for the Killeen area, a 60 percent chance this morning and 20 percent for the rest of the week. But Tuesday, storms like this should not appear in the forecast, Griffin said.
"The weather pattern should change by tomorrow," Griffin predicted. "The low-pressure system should move on out, and we should see high pressure by the weekend."
Contact Mason W. Canales at email@example.com or call (254) 501-7554