COMMERCE — Although Commerce was not struck by the series of tornadoes that occurred on April 3, it bore much of the impact of the severe weather caused by the storm cell.
The final results confirmed the tornado, which was on the ground for 11.1 miles and had a maximum width of 750 yards, as an EF-1.
Hunt County Emergency Management Coordinator Richard Hill said “multiple homes” were damaged or destroyed and at least four people were reported injured, including one man who was thrown from his mobile home.
Reports show the cell retained its strength and dropped large hail and damaging winds as it moved its way slowly west to east along U.S. Highway 380 through Collin County and into Hunt County. Princeton and Farmersville were reported to have been struck by tornadoes as the storm progressed.
Winds reached near 70 mph as the cell dumped baseball-size hail in Commerce before finally exiting the county
The Buena Vista Apartment Complex on Park Street in Commerce was hit hard by the storm, as hail and winds from the storm knocked out more than 100 windows as the storm rolled through.
Commerce resident Jessica Martin was in her apartment at the complex at the time of the storm.
Martin called her fiance, Brandon Akers, to come over from work so she could make sure he was safe.
Akers arrived minutes before the storm hit and the couple sought shelter inside the apartment.
“We were sitting in the bathtub, hearing glass shattering all around us, and I couldn’t help but wonder which window in our apartment was getting knocked out, what all was getting wet, and just prayed that my car’s windshield was okay,” she said. “Once it had finally moved over, we moved our bed away from the window, and stepped outside our door.”
Martin said once they were outside, she saw the damage the storm left in its wake.