Storms leave behind a big mess

By Molly Reuter - bio - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - East Texas electric companies and street crews are out in full force Wednesday morning cleaning up the mess Tuesday night's storms left behind.  In Tyler, there were several reports of downed trees and power lines.

One Henderson County neighborhood is left with a big mess after strong winds literally snapped trees in half.  Residents in Sunrise Shores, a subdivision located off FM 315, just south of Chandler, say thety are lucky no one was hurt.

"I was just terrified," said Sunrise Shores resident Tricia Boyd.

"I was calling my mom, telling her I love her," said Sunrise Shores resident Jonathan Brown.

"I'm still trembling," said Sunrise Shores resident Frances Cutright.  "I'm 77 years-old, and this is the first time I've ever had to go through anything like this."  Thankful to be alive, and thankful to still have a roof over their head.  These Sunrise Shores residents have quite a story to tell.

"We were standing out on the porch, and we were watching the weather, and we were watching the clouds roll in, and the next thing we heard some hail, then it just sounded like the world was coming apart," said Boyd.  Boyd says the next thing she knew, trees were coming down all around her, taking the power lines with them.

"I think this is the worst feeling I've ever had in my life," said Boyd.  "The worst."  Down the street, and there is even more damage.  Jonathan Brown says he could not believe how quick the storm hit.

"All of a sudden it just started hailing, and it picked the truck up off the ground and slammed us into someone's front yard," said Brown.  Across the street, Brown said he and his friends had to pull a senior citizen from his home, that's now split in two.  Firefighters say these residents are lucky no one was hurt.

"It was a real quick event," said Westside Volunteer Firefighter Scott Martin.  "The winds changed out of the south and then went straight east, lasted about ten minutes.  Got some hail, got some rain and a lot of wind, and then the trees started snapping and made the county very busy."  A busy night, and no doubt a very busy day ahead.

Westside volunteer firefighters say the electric company is aware of the power outages in Henderson County.  At this time, ONCOR Electric is reporting around 11,000 customers without power.  SWEPCO has around 4,000 without power.