Storms Cause Damage All Over East Texas - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/29/06-East Texas

Storms Cause Damage All Over East Texas

In all, East Texas saw five tornado warnings Friday night, leaving a wide path of devastation.   We sent crews to areas in Smith, Henderson, and Anderson County where there have been numerous reports of damage to houses, power lines, and even whole towns.  

There was rain, heavy winds, and trees down throughout East Texas Friday afternoon.

Jim MacWhirter, says "At first it sounded like a strong wind, and then it was like the roar of train, I mean really loud train, I mean we looked out and there was debris, the sky was black with debris."

The debris MacWhirter talking about is a shed-type building where walls were ripped apart, laying on top of this RV. It happened in between Flint and Noonday.  

Thomas Boeker, says, "We were watching Mark (Scirto), and he was giving us coverage and detail and everything on the radar, telling everybody to get in cover so I got my daughter in the closet with blankets, pillow, radio, the whole works.

Then there was a barn that was completely floored by the high winds in Noonday. But as the skies darkened, the winds intensified and so did the amount of damage.  

Gary Aarant, Fire Chief of the Noonday Fire Department says, "it's just a big mess right now, there's just stuff all over the road, there's metal buildings that have been blown off, there's barns in the road.  We got about 20 trees that have laid over the road, we've got a couple vehicles trapped in the trees, we got one vehicle with the trees on top of the car."

Power lines down, roads blocked off, and reports of structural damage throughout many East Texas counties.   In a neighborhood just outside Tyler, two houses caught fire after downed power lines tangle with trees, electrifying the houses' gas lines.  

Oscar Nunez, saw the whole thing, he says, "I saw the smoke coming out the side of the house and that's when I seen my neighbor running back and forth. He ran over here, he's talking about the house is on fire and I'm like what, I didn't see nothing until I saw the smoke coming out.

But perhaps the worst damage comes out of Poyner, where houses have been destroyed and entire neighborhoods blocked off because of the debris.   Destruction from storms that will continue throughout most of Friday night.

We've gotten no reports of injuries in our part of East Texas. But earlier Friday we received word that at least one person died from flying debris in Groesbeck. That's in Limestone County.

Tracy Watler/Reporting:

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