National Weather Service personnel investigate Alto damage

National Weather Service personnel investigate Alto damage

ALTO, TX (KLTV) - The job of trying to figure out exact details, wind speed, 'F' levels and damage assessment in destruction like what happened in Alto, falls upon investigators from the National Weather Service.

Two teams from Shreveports’ National Weather Service canvassed all of Alto in an assessment of not only damage, but exactly what caused it.

“Springtime in Texas, we have severe weather frequently. We’re out trying to track these storms to find how intense they were. It’s probably one of the most destructive storms that we’ve had. We’ve seen EF-0 damage, but 100 yards down the road we might see EF-2 damage,” says NWS meteorologist Mario Valverde.

"We need to determine is it a tornado, or other kind of wind like squall line, straight line wind or micro-burst. We have to look at different types of damage top determine wind speed," says NWS meteorologist Charlie Woodrum.

Their mission is to find out how every tree came down and how every home was damaged.

Indicators like tree-debarking is what they're looking for.

“EF-2 to EF-3 tornadoes can actually rip the bark off the trunks of trees, that’s called de-barking. We had about F-2 damage 120 miles per hour, just from that damage indicator. We’re looking at the trees, radar imagery to establish a timeline,” Woodrum says.

A difficult job, knowing that they are assessing the suffering of people effected by the damage.

"People have gone through this tragedy less than 24 hours ago and we're knocking on their door asking if they can help us. We need to be helping them," Valverde says.

"Help people by helping them understand what happened and why it happened," says Woodrum.

The National Weather Service will compile data from the storm damage and release an official report at a later date.

To help the victims of these storms, click here to donate to either the American Red Cross or the East Texas Food Bank. Both agencies are working daily in these storm-impacted areas of East Texas.

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