Mysterious Strong Weather Rages in Hobbs

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

HOBBS, N.M. - All law enforcement knew was something, something stronger than a severe thunderstorm, smashed through north Hobbs around 7 p.m. Monday night.

"We did get the T.V. notifications of the winds, of the hail but what hit this subdivision, I don't know," Lea County Sheriff, Mark Hargrove, said.

Whatever it was, it damaged 11 homes and smashed apart 11 telephone poles.

An entire subdivision of nearly 100 homes lost power for almost 12 hours.

Officials said they sent out the severe thunderstorm warning but whatever caused this damage went undetected.

"It was undetected," Hargrove said. "You can see the obvious damage."

Some residents who weathered the storm said there was a funnel cloud. They said they saw a funnel cloud with their own eyes, one that came through and carved destruction right in their front yards.

"You could hear this real loud noise like something running off of a train track," storm victim, Lori Weber, said. "The house started vibrating and the next thing I looked out the window and I see this funnel. When I called 911 I was yelling 'I'm scared! I'm scared! I don't know what to do, all these power poles are down. Hurry up!'"

Weber said she saw the funnel cloud never touch down, just shoot back up into the sky.

She suspects that's why a tornado warning never rang out.

"There was no alert," Weber said. "There was nothing."

While some homes are now surrounded by ponds of storm water and some structures are blown on their backs, an estimated 20 homes still remain without power.

Crews worked all night Monday night and are still working to have power restored to every home by Tuesday evening.

Whatever weather struck this path of destruction, residents are just thankful it didn't take any lives with it.

"There was hail after hail. Our cars, it looked like snow on them," Weber said. "It was still storming here all night and I just kept telling my husband 'I'm scared' all night."