Tornado damages roofs, trees in Rusk County - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tornado damages roofs, trees in Rusk County

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

RUSK COUNTY, TX (KLTV)- Officials have confirmed a tornado ripped through one East Texas community while the temperatures were plummeting. The EF-1 tornado ripped the roof off one family's home in Oak Hill, east of Henderson in Rusk County.

KLTV 7 News met with National Weather Service members who confirmed the damage, and the family that was sent running for the door.

Before Tuesday's sunrise, a tornado ripped the roof off the Clardy family home. Winds reaching 100 miles per hour sent the roof tumbling to their daughter's house next door.

"What I believe was a tree coming down on our roof, we since realized it was my parents roof coming across the top of our roof," said Michelle Akin. "It's now laying in the yard, in the neighbors yard now."

"All of the sudden it was just a boom. It happened just that quick," said Larry Akin.

 Strong winds split trees in half, and transformers blew, knocking out power.

"The electricity went out immediately and all I could see was insulation on our windows," said Michelle.

Michelle says she and her husband rushed over to her parents home.

"We found their bedrooms completely exposed to the sky," she said.

The insulation bursts, parts of it landing on the Clardys outside bushes. At first, Michelle says her father thought it was snow. But there was no snow. The National Weather Service determined this was the work of a tornado.

"It's a narrow corridor in a very short span and if you go either side of that and I don't see any damage that would be typical of a down bursts," said Keith Stellman with the National Weather Service. "My first guess is tornado damage."

As the Akins covered their damaged roof with tarps, the Clardys looked at their roofless home in relief.

"Everybody's safe. Everybody is accounted for and that's all that matters. Stuff can be replaced," said Michelle.

The family says if they can get the powered restored to the house next door, which they also own they'll have a place to stay Tuesday night. The family has been living on that farm for six generations.

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