Norther blows out power to 1,600
Downed power lines caused outages starting at 2:49 p.m., and electrical workers labored for the next few hours to restore service, said Andy Heines, a spokesman for AEP Texas, the electrical utility. Electricity gradually was restored until everyone was back in service by about 6:20 p.m., Heines said.
The norther's winds gusted up to 62 mph at Bob Hall Pier, according to Roger Gass, a meterologist with the National Weather Service office in Corpus Christi. Forecasters didn't have wind information specifically for Port Aransas.
Folks at various spots throughout the Corpus Christi area reported possible tornados, but the National Weather Service had not confirmed any as of press time.
Despite the high winds, Gass said the weather episode wasn't especially unusual.
"It's getting into our severe weather season now, so this is pretty typical," Gass said. "When a cold front moves in to where there is warm air, we'll see a clash between those two air masses."
While temperatures reached 80 degrees before the norther, the overnight low was 48 degrees after the frontal passage, Gass said.
Coast Guard personnel made weather-related calls, including a report of an overdue vessel at 6:10 p.m. A Coast Guard helicopter found the boat beached at Lydia Ann Island with no one onboard. The Coast Guard and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) searched by boat for the missing folks.
The TPWD boat found the folks within a few hours and stayed to assist with the beached boat. No further information on the incident was provided.
Bill Lanier was piloting the Island Queen charter fishing boat near the north jetty when the norther struck.
"It was windy as hell," Lanier said later.
The excursion was supposed to be three hours long, and the 30 passengers were catching a lot of fish, but the 64-foot Island Queen cut the trip about an hour short for safety reasons and headed back to Dennis Dreyer Municipal Marina, Lanier said.
Port Aransas police got reports of traffic lights out and power lines down but no other emergencies. Officers blocked off a section of Alister Street between Cotter and White streets for more than an hour to keep people away from downed power lines.
Power went off at the police department, but a backup generator kicked on, and there were no real problems, according to the department.
Power also went off at Port Aransas schools shortly before classes were scheduled to let out for the day, so students were released slightly earlier than usual, said Billy Wiggins, superintendent of the Port Aransas Independent School District.