AMARILLO, Texas — “The wind was horrible today,” said Amarillo resident Michael Bridges. “I had a rack on top and I thought,’ man this thing is going to blow off. I took her (wife) to lunch and felt like a rollercoaster, I felt like my Tahoe was literally going to get ready to lift up.”
SEE IT: Strong winds blow over tractor-trailer traveling in Texas
Bridges and his family tell ABC 7 News Wednesday’s winds were the strongest they have felt blast Amarillo.
Gusts exceeding 70-miles-per-hour and sustained winds of 40 mph made for dangerous driving conditions throughout the High Plains Wednesday.
“It was crazy,” said Amarillo resident Rhett Archer. “I know all the power lines were blown down in Amarillo and right outside my house on Tascosa Road, and all these semis blowing over. It’s just crazy.”
The winds also knocked over power lines and snapped power poles, which left 121,000 customers without power, according to Xcel Energy. As of 10pm Wednesday, that number had been cut to 53,500. Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves said they've called in an additional 25 crews, which is anywhere from 100 to 125 workers, to join the restoration effort Thursday morning.
The neighboring Extend-A-Suites hotel sign crashed down on the El Patron Tex-Mex Restaurant while patrons ate lunch, damaging the exterior and interior of the building. The business is closed until repairs can be made.
“I work in the electrical business and it was super busy today, so I’m expecting tomorrow to be really busy with electrical services repairs,” said Bridges.