Wind gusting to 70 mph and hail the size of baseballs pounded the Texas Panhandle, smashing almost all of the windows on one end of a six-story hospital, where one patient was injured by flying glass.
“It blew out the lobby. The windows are shattered. They blew in on the patients,” said Mary Barlow, a spokeswoman for Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital in Amarillo.
About 30 rooms in the 410-bed hospital were affected by Monday evening’s storm in the Amarillo area and about 100 patients had to be moved to other rooms. Barlow said the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit was hit and about a dozen babies had to be moved to the regular newborn nursery.
“One patient had a gash to his leg from flying glass,” Barlow said.
Damage estimates were not yet available Tuesday, but were expected to total millions of dollars, authorities said.
Homes and vehicles in the area also were damaged by hail up to baseball size.
“Glass flew everywhere. It looked like Coke bottles, half Coke bottles shooting through our skylights,” Amarillo homeowner Faye Essary told the Amarillo Globe-News.
Windows also were smashed on cars on some dealers’ lots, and a Wal-Mart Super Center closed because its skylights were shattered.
Heavy rain flooded some underpasses and rural roads, and Hartley County Sheriff Franky Scott said water was up to 4 feet deep in some areas.
“It had the barbed wire fence covered up,” Scott said.
Storm spotters reported several twisters in the Amarillo area, including one along Interstate 40.