Storm Damage Clean-Up Continues - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Storm Damage Clean-Up Continues

One by one clean-up crews made their way through one of the hardest hit areas from Saturday night's storm, cutting up fallen tree limbs and cleaning flooded businesses.  Several downtown Kilgore stores are struggling to stay open, Monday because of the damage.

It was a wet and smelly Monday morning for Martha Fertitta of Package Plus.  Her store is still drying out after Saturday's nights storm spilled in.

"We got in and it was just awful," said Fertitta.  "You don't know where to start."  It's the same scene up and down her street.  Charlie Walker's tanning salon also flooded.

"It was coming up out of the ground and through the walls because the city's drainage system was so full," said Walker.  "It (water) went all the way to the back of the store, which is about 100 feet back."  Across town, and flooding was the least of Phil Carroll's problems.

"The hail was so deafening, we really didn't hear the tree fall," said Carroll.  "We've got two bedrooms that suffered water damage and one bathroom and then of course the roof.  We've got five, or six holes in the roof."  Another Kilgore home lost part of its roof completely, as a tree literally split it in two.  Steve Hillman says he was inside his bedroom when the tree came smashing down and is just thankful to be alive.

"It didn't look good," said Hillman.  "I don't know if I heard the tree, or not, but something got me out of the way, and I'm very happy for that."  What to do next, is what Denise Gee is asking herself after strong winds and hail tore her party supply store apart.

"This is what my income was," said Gee.  "I still have a teenager at home that I'm still trying to support, so I guess I'll just try to get above water."  Right now, both Kilgore and business owners and homeowners are preparing themselves for the next round of storms, hoping this time Mother Nature will spare them.

Molly Reuter, Reporting.


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