Tornado Damages Homes, Businesses, Cars - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Tornado Damages Homes, Businesses, Cars

An F1 tornado touched down in East Texas last night, causing quite a bit of damage. It blew through the small town of Grapeland in Houston County, southeast of Palestine. The tornado left a path about six miles long and half a mile wide.

Winds close to 100 mph blew from southwest to northeast. Today, it was all about cleaning up and fixing the damage. The man in the house next door was lucky. His tree fell away from his home.

"I heard a crack," Boyd Howard, a 71-year-old homeowner, said. "And pretty soon, I couldn't see where I was looking because the tree fell down in front of me."

The tornado was so powerful, it uprooted a 40-foot tree. Other trees just snapped.

"And I looked at the car and thought, maybe I should move the car back," Margaret Cranford, an 85-year-old homeowner, said. "I was worried about the pine tree. Never thought about the oak tree."

It was the oak tree that ended up smashing Margaret's car. And she just spent nearly $1,000 on a new transmission.

"It could have been worse," she said. "It could have gotten me while I was out there before I got back in."

The public library lost a window. And 1600 homes and businesses lost power. So TXU Electric crews had to work around the clock to repair more than 20 downed powerlines.

Some homebuilders working last night took shelter in their tents.

"It was like six of us in the tent trying to hold the tent up," Roy Dye said. "And it was just slinging us around like we were paper."

For most people, getting back to normal is only a trash day away. For now, debris sits on curbsides.

Grapeland police say no one was reported injured.

Julie Tam, reporting.


Powered by Frankly