Storm pounds East Texas, damages homes in Houston County

Viewer-submitted photo shows two small children sleeping in the bath tub, presumably moved their by their parents anticipating a tornado.
Viewer-submitted photo shows two small children sleeping in the bath tub, presumably moved their by their parents anticipating a tornado.
Viewer-submitted photo
Viewer-submitted photo
Kennard resident clears damage from Monday's storm
Kennard resident clears damage from Monday's storm

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Families are cleaning-up what Monday night's storms left behind as they brace for another round Tuesday night.

Houston County appears to have received the brunt. County officials said it has been awhile since they've seen anything this severe.

"It was like the loudest crack of lightning you've ever heard multiplied by 100," said Kate Milsap. "It reverberated the air. It was that big."

A massive oak tree was uprooted and landed in Milsap's driveway. Now, she's stuck.

"I guess what I can do is I've got those little bush nippers and hand saw and whatnot and I'll just start on it because this is going to be too costly to remove a tree like this for me," said Milsap. "I'll just peck at it bit by bit. I have an axe up at the house."

The tree fell in Kennard, about 6 miles off of Highway 7. Down the road, crews were working to restore down power lines.

On a county road off Highway 21 West, a resident just returned home to see where the storm ripped through her land.

"It's devastating, it's hurting," said Elnoria Ellis. "I just can't believe it. I would've never though, you know, it would be me, my home."

A trampoline was on her car, a tree was uprooted, and a building was destroyed. The National Weather Service makes the final determination, but Ellis said there's no doubt it was a tornado that destroyed her property.

At least eight homes were damaged in the storm and fallen trees were a major problem.

"I've got the record tree for the storm of '11," said Milsap. "I know it."

Residents are working on clean-up and finding the silver lining on the storm clouds.

"The storage building and all that, that's just material things, I just thank God for my home and my family is okay," said Ellis.

"We can replace houses, we can replace barns, we can rebuild fences and we can replant trees, but if we get through things like this without people being hurt seriously, then we're very fortunate," said Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt.

Milsap has received help to remove the massive tree.

About 700 homes in Houston County are still without power, that's down from more than a thousand.

Houston County Electric Co-op said they're working to get the lights on by midnight if another storm system doesn't move through.

The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes touched down near Wells and two more touched down near Oakwood in Houston County.

In Angelina County, fallen trees and power lines have blocked the eastbound lane on State Highway 94 near Hudson High School, as well as a lane on State Highway 103, near FM 1819. Other FM roads in Angelina County also have downed trees and power lines.

No major damage has been reported in Trinity, Cherokee and Nacogdoches counties.

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