A funnel cloud was seen near Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Saturday amid extreme weather conditions and flash floods.
The National Weather Service (NWS) had warned that a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over the airport around 4 p.m. CST on Saturday. Several tornado warnings were in place for areas in and around Houston that day.
NWS reported a tornado sighting near Beltway 8 and the airport around 3 p.m. A ground stop was issued at the airport, but lifted around 5 p.m., according to KRIV.
NWS and the airport have been contacted for comment.
Several people have taken to social media to post images of what appears to be a swirling funnel cloud near the ground.
Tony McKay posted a clip of the sighting in Houston, captured while traveling alongside US-59.
Tiktok user @ dennismenser6 also posted a video of a funnel cloud, with a caption saying it was a “tornado outside the Houston airport”.
Another video posted to Twitter was captured by a resident as the apparent tornado swept through northern Houston.
Meghan Ricketts, who works as a human resources generalist at Process Insights, told ABC13 that the roof of World Houston Parkway had nearly collapsed.
“Everything was affected. Our warehouse, where we keep the products, was affected. Our offices, cabins, management offices, all suffered water damage,” Ricketts told the station.
“If you look at the roof, it sags under the weight of the water. Honestly, I’m honestly not shocked that it hasn’t spilled out yet.”
Meanwhile, severe weather and flash flood warnings remained in place for parts of Texas until Sunday morning.
Flash flood warnings
Most flood warnings expired at 4:15 a.m. CST, but the NWS has warned of disturbances in parts of southeast Texas, including Harris and Montgomery counties.
“Widespread flooding in the streets will continue to impact movement in the warned area. Although the heavy rains have stopped, the floodwaters will take time to recede,” he said.
A video posted to Twitter showed the flooding of Brickhouse Gully, a concrete-lined drainage channel, in Oak Forest northwest of Houston.
Houston officials have warned residents to be cautious and stay off the roads if possible.
Harris County meteorologist Jeff Lindner tweeted that parts of Houston received more than four inches of rain in an hour in the early hours of Sunday.
Soon after, he said “the heaviest rains and the threat of an isolated tornado” were moving into northeast Harris County.
But Lindner added, “Major street flooding continues over parts of Spring Branch and NC Harris County. The water will take time to subside. Stay at your current location.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted: “Please pay attention to the weather tonight and watch where you are driving. Stay off the roads unless necessary.”
Samuel Peña, the chief of the Houston fire department, added that the department was responding to reports of motorists stranded due to bad weather. “Stay off the road if possible. @HoustonFire responding to calls from motorists stranded due to street level flooding, ”he tweeted.