Hughes Springs City Hall, Volunteer Fire Department destroyed

Published: Nov. 5, 2022 at 6:04 PM CDT
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HUGHES SPRINGS, Texas (KLTV) - The people of Hughes Springs woke up to destroyed buildings, downed trees and the sound of chainsaws Saturday morning as they crept outside their homes to assess the damage.

Hughes Springs City Hall is unrecognizable with massive downed trees and branches surrounding nearly every side of the building. Not far up the road, the Volunteer Fire Department was destroyed.

Hughes Springs City Hall damaged after Friday night storms.
Hughes Springs City Hall damaged after Friday night storms.(KLTV)

“By the time we got here, there was nothing left. Everyone was scrambling trying to find their gear so we could get out and help but we couldn’t even get trucks out,” said Justin Riehemann, a Hughes Springs Paramedic who works with the VFD.

Five fire engines sat inside the station when the storm hit. Two of the trucks got the brunt of the damage, sitting right below a gaping hole in what’s left of the roof.

“The fire station I’ve been at for the past 10 years is gone. I mean, it looks like just something out of a movie,” said Riehemann.

Volunteer fire departments from Daingerfield, Linden, Lone Star, Crossroads, and Avinger responded overnight to help Hughes Springs respond to emergency calls.

Just up the road, a woman named Mildred Vaughn helped her family sort through what was once their livelihood. She recalled the story of survival her son shared with her from Friday night.

“My son went to the backdoor and it sucked him out... and he hit the ground and saw the trailer fixing to tumble so he laid back down. I think that’s what saved him,” Vaughn said.

Just one of the many close calls from the night. While there was no shortage of downed powerlines and scattered debris, you could see people from in and around the community, on every corner, helping each other pick up the pieces.