‘Surprise’ tornado spins up during storms in San Antonio on Thursday, causing minor damage

Tornado touched down near I-35, Highway 281 on Thursday morning

SAN ANTONIO – A “surprise” tornado touched down near downtown San Antonio during morning rush hour on Thursday, causing minor damage.

The small, brief tornado was spotted around 8 a.m. near Interstate 35 and Highway 281. A KSAT employee caught the tornado on camera while in her car. The incident caused drivers to come to a full stop along the busy interstate.

Damage at various locations was reported by KSAT reporters and viewers.

KSAT reporter Daniela Ibarra submitted a video on KSAT Connect that showed the trunk of a tree snapped near Dickman and Allen roads at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. JBSA officials also reported downed trees and damage to vehicles at the Army post.

Daniela @ KSAT

Near Dickman Rd and Allen Rd on Fort Sam Houston

Viewer Ricardo Balderrama sent us photos of a fence down and shingle damage on St. Charles Street between Burleson and Lamar.

Damage to roof of a building on Sherman Street. (Ricardo Balderrama)


The Alamo Heights area was hit hard by early morning storms. At around 8:15 a.m., a tree toppled over a fence at Southwest Preparatory School located on Austin Highway.

School officials said the storms appeared to have knocked out power to the building. There was wind damage, trees blown over and debris on the campus.

“It was crazy enough to knock down a whole tree. I didn’t know it was going to be that crazy. I heard the rain from my house, though,” said Chastity Williams, nearby resident.

Students were evacuated to the middle and high schools located on the same property. All students and staff were safe and there were no injuries, school officials told KSAT in an email.

Down the street, there was damage to the roof at the Alcove at Alamo Heights Apartments. A beam was stuck on the top of the building, but there were no injuries and no one was displaced.

In any situation like this, you want to take shelter, you want to stay out of anything like that because of the flying debris. There’s a lot of debris around here,” said San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood. “This apartment complex. We’re seeing pieces of the frame work on the ground. So, again, stay away from anything that’s electrical, anything that’s structural. But if you can, shelter in a safe place away from windows or anything like that.”

Chief Hood said about 270 CPS Energy customers in the area lost power at the height of the storm.

Terrell Hills city officials said that the 500 Block of Terrell Road and the intersection at Valley View and Grandview were closed “due to recent storm-related issues.”


damage at Alcove apartments terrell hills

San Antonio

About the Author

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.

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