Kilgore storm tears roof off restaurant; massive tree crushes car

Brigitta's Hungarian Restaurant loses half of roof, closing business temporarily
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 12:13 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2023 at 6:35 PM CST
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KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - Thursday night’s storm tore the roof off a restaurant in Kilgore.

It happened in the 200 block of Highway 32 at Brigitta’s Hungarian Restaurant sometime around 9 p.m. The owner didn’t realize it had happened until about 5:30 this morning.

The roof wasn’t fully on the ground, but half of it was. Restaurant Owner Michael Chubboy said when he pulled in this morning he saw a some trash in the parking lot that turned out to be insulation. He didn’t realize the extent of the damage.

“You can’t see that that the roof is gone except one piece is buckled up at the right angle,” Chubboy said.

When he walked to the other side, however, he was “duly and visually informed.”

KLTV's Jamey Boyum talks with Brigitta’s Hungarian Restaurant owner Michael Chubboy about damage to the restaurant’s roof caused by Thursday night’s storm.

“We’re counting our blessings because there wasn’t much rain with it,” Chubboy said. “It just peeled the roof right off. I mean. Outside looks like a war zone.”

The roof is leaking, and he isn’t wasting time getting roofers in to place bids.

“It’s frightening looking. But you go upstairs and look at the roof, the joists are there,” he said.

To find out what’s wrong with the leaking ceiling, “everything has to dry out first. And then we have to understand what has lost the integrity of the ceiling.”

In the 1700 block of Ash Lane, also around 9 p.m., a large old tree fell and crushed a SWEPCO vehicle. The man who lives at the residence works for the company, and crews are working to remove the tree. A limb also hit the garage roof, causing minor damage to the two vehicles inside.

KLTV's Jamey Boyum talks with Carmela Romero about a large tree that, as a result of Thursday night’s storm, fell on her property in Kilgore.

Homeowner Carmela Romero said there were four people in the house when it happened. “We were kind of bracing for the storm, but like I say, we were obviously not expecting for this to happen,” Romero said. “We do have a lot of trees that fall over here. We hear them a lot, so it’s kind of common. But we definitely did not expect this at all.”

There were no injuries as a result of the tree falling. The two vehicles in the garage had minor damage.

In the 1700 block of Ash Lane, also around 9 p.m., a large old tree fell and crushed a SWEPCO vehicle.