Early morning storms cause damage across East Texas

Tree uprooted in Longview
Tree uprooted in Longview
Tree on home in Longview
Tree on home in Longview

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - It woke people up, turned out the lights, sent trees toppling, and even tore the roofs off some buildings. Powerful storms barreled through East Texas Friday morning. The heaviest damage was on a long stretch along Highway 80, going from Mineola all the way to Longview.

The first reports of damage came from Wood County, where trees were snapped by high winds crashing down on power lines, and the roof of a workshop was torn away.

"My first concern was these power lines because I heard them popping," said Alfred Murphy. "I told everybody to stay at the house."

In Longview, winds bended the flagpole at Texas Bank and Trust. Signal lights were out, and the rain contributed to an accident involving a police car. Tree's were also sent crashing down, creating a frightening few minutes for residents.

"It sounded like a tornado had hit and just wiped out half the house," said C.T. Young of Longview. "[There were] crashing sounds, like an earthquake."

It was the same story in several counties Friday morning. Massive trees were torn out by the roots and toppled over leaving homeowners to assess the damage and clean up. There were several close calls as tons of lumber came down on homes.

"I shot up out of that bed and went looking for my kids, saying, 'Come on, lets find a safe place," said Sarah Murphy.

"20 - 30 seconds [passed] and it was through," said Alfred Murphy of Mineola.

"I didn't know what I was going to see when I came out here after hearing all that noise," said Kyle Rae. "I heard a crack and it just went boom."

Many had been through it before and knew what was coming.

"I heard something snap," said Rae. "We was pretty worried about it. I thought it was going to turn into a torando but no hail was falling the wind was blowing it probably picked up 70 miles an hour or better."

In the chilly rain, many started the process they have become only too familiar with: cleaning up.

"We're going to get through it," said Young.

Amazingly, there have been no reports of any injuries in those damaged areas.

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