Severe Winds Rip Through Small East Texas Town - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/10/07-Titus County

Severe Winds Rip Through Small East Texas Town

Trees falling on homes, roofs blown off, and downed power lines--that's what happened when tornado-like winds rip through a small East Texas town Tuesday morning.   The storm was reported around nine o'clock in Talco. That's in Titus County, just northwest of Mount Pleasant. Emergency crews and residents have been cleaning up all day for a storm that took only a matter of seconds to cause such destruction. 

"It sounded like a roaring train going over," said resident Pete Swarts.

She was sitting on her porch drinking coffee Tuesday morning when she says it started raining really hard.

"Then it got real dark and then that's when it hit...seemed like forever, but maybe two or three seconds and it was gone," Swarts said.

Swarts also said a "tornado-like storm" ripped through her neighborhood, but she was one of the lucky ones.  Only one tree in her yard was uprooted. But across the street, her neighbors weren't so lucky.  A tree fell on their house, causing some damage.  

"It was the scariest thing I have ever, I was so scared," said Rhonda Gilbert, another Talco resident.

Talco emergency crews have been assessing the damage from a command center, trying to figure out if in fact a tornado did touch down.  

"Two eyewitnesses on both locations did state they saw rotation and that they did see a funnel cloud," said Fire Chief Randy Carroll.

But it was too late to issue an emergency siren warning.

"We just didn't have time to set it off, she got the call of a possible tornado, she looked out the window, there it was, it had already moved into town before she had time to set it off," Carroll said.

One woman didn't even know the storm had hit.  She came home to find a tree on top of her mobile home.

"I had appointment this morning so I had gone early and just I came back and I see this and I can't believe it," said resident Maria Martinez.

The community may not know exactly what hit them, but they do know now's the time to pull together and put back their town.

Tracy Watler/Reporting:

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