Tons of Debris from Columbia Rains Down on Anderson County - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

02/01/03 - Near Palestine

Tons of Debris from Columbia Rains Down on Anderson County

"We heard a loud vibration.  We thought it might have been a train, but it was a lot louder than that," recalled Cesar Saenz of Anderson County.

In the lifetimes of everyone in the county, it was something no one could ever imagine. That one of the symbols of American strength shattered over their homes on a beautiful Saturday morning.

Claudia minter "And the roof kind of shook, and the house kind of shook, and we thought it was an earthquake."

Cesar Saenz was driving down 155 this morning: "I was coming to town through here, and I saw a lot of dust and smoke -- a streak of smoke coming across the sky." Moments later, a large section of Columbia fell to the ground in the median of busy highway 155.  It didn't take long for Cesar to realize what was happening. 

"They said the space shuttle blew up, and that's when I said, 'Hey, that must have been a piece of it.'"

David Blackmon's job was to secure a small piece of the shuttle's heat shield. The order: no one comes close.

"A hundred feet... They're advising a hundred feet."

Cynthia Cooper was delivering mail when jagged scorched metal punctured her tire.

"I just heard a crunching noise, and I looked out and a piece of this thing was in [my tire]."

She's OK, just a little shaken. "I never saw anything like that before," she adds.

This day is one they'll never forget -- including the children who are seeing an American tragedy first hand.

"There's no words to express something that tragic," says Claudia.

"I'm just terrified -- just heartbroken. My heart goes out to all the people on the crew. I'm just mortified."

Morgan Palmer, reporting.

  • East Texas HeadlinesEast Texas HeadlinesMore>>

  • Daytime Weather At Your Fingertips

    Daytime Weather At Your Fingertips

  • Overnight Weather At Your Fingertips

    Overnight Weather At Your Fingertips

  • Firefighters help angel tree kids

    Firefighters help angel tree kids

    Saturday, December 16 2017 11:51 PM EST2017-12-17 04:51:23 GMT

    East Texas firefighters come to the rescue of angel tree kids. Big Sandy firefighters held two fund-raisers over the past week to help their local Angel Tree network. They collected enough donations to buy toys for 28 kids through the local group 'Agape House Ministries Angel Tree' coordinators. Volunteers also collected cash donations which they turned over to Agape ministries. Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    East Texas firefighters come to the rescue of angel tree kids. Big Sandy firefighters held two fund-raisers over the past week to help their local Angel Tree network. They collected enough donations to buy toys for 28 kids through the local group 'Agape House Ministries Angel Tree' coordinators. Volunteers also collected cash donations which they turned over to Agape ministries. Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • NewsMore>>

  • Firefighters help angel tree kids

    Firefighters help angel tree kids

    Saturday, December 16 2017 11:51 PM EST2017-12-17 04:51:23 GMT

    East Texas firefighters come to the rescue of angel tree kids. Big Sandy firefighters held two fund-raisers over the past week to help their local Angel Tree network. They collected enough donations to buy toys for 28 kids through the local group 'Agape House Ministries Angel Tree' coordinators. Volunteers also collected cash donations which they turned over to Agape ministries. Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    East Texas firefighters come to the rescue of angel tree kids. Big Sandy firefighters held two fund-raisers over the past week to help their local Angel Tree network. They collected enough donations to buy toys for 28 kids through the local group 'Agape House Ministries Angel Tree' coordinators. Volunteers also collected cash donations which they turned over to Agape ministries. Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • Big Sandy uses burn house for training

    Big Sandy uses burn house for training

    Saturday, December 16 2017 11:43 PM EST2017-12-17 04:43:35 GMT

    Volunteer firefighters rolled out in one East Texas city today to set a house on fire. It was all part of an unusual set of circumstances that led Big Sandy VFD to seek a unique training opportunity. 

    More >>

    Volunteer firefighters rolled out in one East Texas city today to set a house on fire. It was all part of an unusual set of circumstances that led Big Sandy VFD to seek a unique training opportunity. 

    More >>
  • Pittsburg hold charity chili cook-off

    Pittsburg hold charity chili cook-off

    Saturday, December 16 2017 11:37 PM EST2017-12-17 04:37:15 GMT
    A recent East Texas chili cook-off competition had its origins in the stark reality of the poverty that befalls families with children. A chili cook-off in Pittsburg recently was a competition by teams made up of all first responders. "We ended up with 6 first responder groups from Pittsburg and Camp county," says Pittsburg police chief Richard Penn. But the origins of this competition have a stark beginning. The effort goes back to a welfare check Pittsburg offi...More >>
    A recent East Texas chili cook-off competition had its origins in the stark reality of the poverty that befalls families with children. A chili cook-off in Pittsburg recently was a competition by teams made up of all first responders. "We ended up with 6 first responder groups from Pittsburg and Camp county," says Pittsburg police chief Richard Penn. But the origins of this competition have a stark beginning. The effort goes back to a welfare check Pittsburg offi...More >>
Powered by Frankly