Late Wednesday night, May 14th, 2008, a very powerful thunderstorm complex swept through Central Austin with 70+ mph straight-line winds and large amounts of hail that ranged from baseball to grapefruit-sized. UT area damage was severe, with uprooted trees and broken tree limbs, trees stripped bare of their leaves, damage to roofs, and windows shattered all over Campus.
The BOT greenhouse suffered approximately 80 panes of glass broken, had a tree uprooted, and had the south end water evaporative cooling wall blown-in and destroyed. Exterior plants around the greenhouse in the Xeriscape Garden suffered broken limbs and stripped leaves. The Painter Greenhouse complex suffered numerous broken glass panes. The greenhouse complex on top of Welch Hall suffered approximately 80 panes of broken glass. The greenhouses at Brackenridge Field Lab faired better than those on Campus, but the tree branch damage at BFL was extreme. Progress is slowly being made to repair the damage to the glass, but a moratorium has been proposed to assess the damage to the BOT Greenhouse and the monetary feasibility to repair the house.