Sunday night’s severe storms left its mark on New Mexico’s eastern side. The National Weather Service says it brought in two tornadoes and up to baseball-sized hail in Roosevelt County, damaging cars and at least two homes.
Lacie Paxton says she had never seen anything like it. Sunday night starting around 6:30 p.m. she saw not one, but two tornadoes. “I just thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m seeing this, this is real’,” she said. Paxton said what concerned her more was the gigantic hail that fell.
“I would say like tennis-ball sized to softball sized hail. We were so focused on that we weren’t even really noticing the tornado itself,” said Paxton.
Power lines, trees, and cars took a big hit. “We were really lucky. Our damage was very minimal,” she said.
The National Weather Service says at least two homes were damaged, including one east of Dora that had a tree crash through its roof. “We watched the first one, about Pepper Highway then we dropped down to Milnesand and came back up in around Causey, then that’s when the two cells merged, and then we had the bigger tornado,” said storm spotter and chaser Kevin Breshears.
Because the tornadoes were slow-moving and stayed out in the fields for the most part, Breshears says it was perfect storm chasing weather. “The most exciting stuff was when the tornado started to build to that multiple vortices in it—then watching it come to the ground and build,” he said.
Breshears says he followed the bigger tornado for nearly thirty minutes. Strong winds also took out a mobile home closer to Portales. No injuries were reported.
The NWS was out there assessing the damage Monday afternoon. They say it’s too early to determine just how strong those tornadoes were.