Some have called it a tornado and reported seeing funnel clouds, but officials say it was a “microburst” that hit Castroville, tearing off roofs and tossing a plane into a cornfield this Tuesday at the Castroville Airport around 2:30 pm.
“It was a microburst, not a tornado,” said Lt. Brian Jackson with Castroville PD. “There were eyewitnesses from a crop dusting group who were at the airport, and they saw and heard it hit. They described it as sheer vertical winds, a microburst.”
“It picked up a plane that was on the tarmac and threw it out into a cornfield,” Lt. Jackson said. “It damaged three hangars, and totaled two of those hangers, taking off roofs and some of the sides. Debris also hit the terminal and did damage to it as well.”
Emergency Manager Keith Lutz adds, “There were people in a vehicle literally sitting at the airport when it happened, and they said there was no funnel, so that’s why we are calling it straightline winds or microburst. The only other damages I’ve heard of was basically just heavy tree damage near the airport and east of it for about 3/4 of a mile. It also tore off or peeled off some of the rock facade from the side of the vet clinic near the high school. These were definitely some strong winds. I think what happed is two storm cells just sort of merged together right here in Castroville. I imagine the weather service will want to look at the photos of damages, and we’ll see what they say.”
Some local residents did say they saw a funnel in the LaCoste area and said rains came down so heavily that it was coming through windows of a newly built home there, but we were not able to speak to any witnesses about this yet.
One resident also reported that a scoreboard was ripped off at the Little League Field in Castroville.
A microburst is defined as an intense small-scale downdraft produced by a thunderstorm or rain shower.
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