A National Weather Service survey team has concluded that a significant damaging thunderstorm wind event occurred in and near the city of Greenville during the late afternoon hours on Wednesday, June 19.
Much of the city was impacted with widespread tree and structural damage. Maximum wind speeds were estimated near 85 mph.
The most significant damage occurred in and just to the northeast of the downtown area where wind speeds were estimated between 70 and 85 mph. Many trees and branches were toppled onto homes, vehicles, storage buildings and fencing, resulting in considerable residential property damage.
Significant structural damage occurred to a few businesses near downtown, including a warehouse building which was pushed over and toppled.
A church on Highway 69 southwest of downtown also sustained damage when a roof overhang was peeled back and thrown 30 yards. No injuries are known to have occurred at this time. The debris within the large damage field fell overwhelmingly in a southwesterly through southeasterly direction.
The strong wind field was likely caused by a rear flank downdraft on the south side of a severe supercell thunderstorm that tracked east-southeastward across Hunt County. Eyewitnesses were interviewed and reported a wall cloud and rotation in the sky, but no one conclusively saw a condensation funnel cloud or a connection of the rotation from the sky to the ground.
The damage began northwest of Greenville along Highway 69 where scattered tree damage occurred indicative of 60 mph winds. Damage increased near Graham Park where wind speeds were estimated at 70 mph.
Damage suggested the winds continued to increase to near 80 to 85 mph as it approached downtown from the north. Thereafter wind speeds decreased below 70 mph as it moved toward I-30 on the south side of town, where scattered tree and sign damage was seen. Scattered tree damage continued south-southeastward toward the community of Lone Oak in southeast Hunt county and Miller Grove in Hopkins county, where winds were estimated at 60 mph. Scattered tree damage east of Greenville was particularly indicative of divergence, as some tree limbs fell to the east, again suggesting that a downburst was responsible for the winds.