Severe thunderstorms rolled through East Texas last night, knocking down trees, leaving many without power. The first round of storms hit Smith County around 2:00 a.m., then again around 6:00 a.m., dumping at least an inch of rain. Wind gusts were measured about 40 miles an hour.
The lightning, thunder and sound of hail woke many people up. As the sun rose, you could see tree after tree knocked down.
Tonda Helms got a call from her tenant saying an oak tree fell in the back yard, leaving a gaping hole in the roof. "All he said was that the tree had split and fell on the house, and there was water in the kitchen. He said that it sounded like a tornado, and he was scared, so he left," Helms said.
Her son, Tavis, helped with the clean up. "Well, it [the tree] was laying all the way across the house. We cut all the little limbs off the top, and we finally rolled all these big pieces off," Tavis said.
TXU says about 1,000 of their customers were without electricity this morning when the storms hit. Then, a substation failed from a possible lightning strike leaving 7,000 others without power. They believe all power has been restored.