Strong winds, rain and a tornado wreaked havoc over areas of Katy late April 9 and early April 10 causing damage to businesses across the area.

A shopping center on South Mason Road in Katy saw the most damage with multiple businesses, including Bourbon Street Sports Bar and Las Mañanitas Mexican Restaurant, seeing the storm’s effects, other than other reported downed trees or limbs.

The National Weather Service confirmed the damage was caused by a brief EF-1 tornado with max winds of about 90 miles an hour, said Jeffry Evans, meteorologist in charge with the NWS in Houston/Galveston, in a press conference recorded by KHOU 11. It has yet to be determined where exactly the tornado started and ended, he said.

“Looking at how it's laid and where damage was thrown, we can definitively say this was a brief tornado,” Evans said in a press conference. “It was a very small, very isolated tornado. It was a part of the same storm system that came across all of Houston last night. ... We have had sporadic reports around the city of trees down or some limbs down. Nothing of this magnitude, so this was the worst part of the damage last night.”

What they’re saying

Local businesses owners like Doug Stockel of Bourbon Street Sports Bar sprung to action early April 10 after seeing damage from the storm. Stockel said one of his employees who was closing the bar called him at 2:49 a.m. and said a tornado had just damaged the front end of the bar.

After checking on his team, Stockel said he discovered the front of the store was blown in and windows were broken, as well as part of a small wall on the roof was gone. An air conditioning unit was also thrown from the roof, he said.

“The first step is getting the building secured, getting the windows secured and the debris removed,” Stockel said. “I do feel fortunate because I don’t believe there is any structural damage to my building.”

All bar employees were unharmed and were at the back of the store when the windows broke, Stockel said. Bourbon Street Sports Bar has been located at 803 S. Mason Road, Ste. 410, for 15 years, he said.

Another business, Las Mañanitas Mexican Restaurant, was also impacted with the storm, said Nancy Guzman, the restaurant owner's daughter.

Damages to Las Mañanitas Mexican Restaurant include some holes in the roof over the dining and office areas as well as water damage, including paperwork and computers. Las Mañanitas is located at 803 S. Mason Road, Ste. 400.

“We have been here in this location for about 19 years, so anytime we have any kind of severe weather damage it definitely hurts us a little bit deep since this is basically our second home,” Guzman said.

Guzman said the community can support the business by visiting the restaurant’s other locations in Cypress, Richmond and Spring.

What else?

The Firestone Complete Auto Center at 727 S. Mason Road, took the most damage with the building completely collapsed. ABC13 reported debris, including tires, were scattered across the parking lot, and the business sign was shredded.

“[The tornado] was just completely unexpected,” Guzman said. “The way that the Firestone looks, it’s completely destroyed. It looks like it just landed right on top of that [building].”

Community Impact reached out to Firestone but did not receive a response by press time.

Next steps

The buildings will need to be checked to ensure they are up to code and safe for patrons. All affected buildings are closed until further notice, the business owners said.

“I’m just happy that it was a very short-lived tornado,” Stockel said. “Even though it was only an EF-1 tornado, if it had stayed on the ground a longer time, there would be a lot of people that had damage to their homes and other businesses.”