A severe thunderstorm that blasted through west Texas on Tuesday was so powerful that it caused dozens of freight train cars to derail, according to officials.Excess & Surplus Lines
Thunderstorms that roared near Colorado City generated straight-line winds that derailed the train and snapped multiple powerline poles, the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Midland, Texas, said on Wednesday.
The storms moved through northeastern Mitchell County just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, with "significant" damage seen 3 miles east of Colorado City.
The NWS said a storm survey team found five snapped powerline poles along the frontage road of Interstate 20 and a derailment of 86 cars less than a mile south of the interstate.
"Due to the wind speed threshold of the train cars and powerline poles, the survey team estimated peak wind speeds to be between 80-100 mph," the NWS said. All of the damage was oriented facing the north, which indicated a "large swath" of straight-line winds.