Tornado Touches Down In Beckville - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/02/08--Panola County

Tornado Touches Down In Beckville

The heavy equipment rolled in to help clear out the heavy stuff.  A pine tree narrowly missed Stacey Blanton's grandmother's home.

"We don't get weather like this around here, often," said Blanton.  Blanton said the tornado seemed to approach her grandmother's home, make a right, and twist it's way down C.R. 245 in Panola County.  

Down that road was a trail of up-rooted and fallen trees, blown to the ground by the twister's winds. 

"It tore the front porch [ceiling] and the back porch off."  Johnny Brown said when the storm hit, he scooped up his mother-in-law and headed to safer ground.  "I looked in the rear-view mirror, and all I could see was twirling." 

Brown said the tornado was coming straight across the pasture in front of his home.  The home was still standing, but the wind was strong enough to drive a one-by-four piece of wood through his roof.

It ripped others apart, hitting hard in more ways than one. 

"It just seems like we can't catch a break," said Kristy Whitaker.  She said just two days ago she buried her step-father.  "Right now, we're just trying to get everything out of here and salvage what we can."

Officials said there was at least one silver lining to all those storm clouds.

Robert Fite, chief of the Beckville Volunteer Fire Department, said no one was injured and only property was damaged.  "God was smiling on us today," he said.

Everyone was grateful that roofs and trees were the only things that were lost.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.

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