Johnson City, Blanco County consider emergency declaration after hail storm

JOHNSON CITY, Texas (KXAN) — Mayor Stephanie Fisher said Johnson City and Blanco County leaders are currently deciding whether to declare a state of emergency after heavy hail ravaged the community Thursday evening.

Fisher said there was no estimate of how many homes were affected by the storm, which produced hail of about 5 to 6 inches in Johnson City.

Throughout the community of 1,800, trees and bushes battered by rain and hail left leaves and debris strewn across lawns and roads.

Fisher said that to her knowledge, she knew of at least 35 homes that were hit hard by hail. She said the strong natural force pierced metal roofs and shattered many windshields.

“We got a piece of hail so big it pierced their metal roof and drywall. This couple had a lot of water damage, there are so many houses with water damage,” Fisher said.

Fisher said the city’s current goal is to help residents cover and patch holes in their roofs caused by the storm.

“Our focus right now is helping our residents do what they need to do, which is fix their roof at this time. Look for a long-term solution to fix them and find ways to help them pay for it,” Fisher said.

Fisher is asking anyone whose property was damaged in the storm to report it not only to their insurer, but also to the Texas Department of Emergency Management.

The Blanco County Office of Emergency Management shared a link to TDEM’s iSTAT Damage Surveys page via social media Thursday evening.

In the event the city and county declare an emergency, Fisher said officials would have to prove $52,000 worth of damage was caused to uninsured properties in the area.

She predicts that damage will easily exceed this threshold, which could happen even more quickly with prompt reporting.

‘It was horrible’

A couple living in Johnson City on Ranchview Drive said the hail came so quickly and they weren’t prepared for what came next.

When describing the hole that was seen in the couple’s home in the ceiling, they described it as being round in nature.

“So it must be due to hail,” they said.

“All of a sudden we heard about hail on the roof and then water came in through the air conditioning,” the couple said. “Oh, it was horrible. It came so quickly.