High winds, possibly a tornado, cut a swath along FM 1819/Choppin Rd in Angelina Co.

Roof damage to Old Redtown School
Roof damage to Old Redtown School

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The storm clouds, high winds and rain have passed and residents in Angelina County are evaluating the damage and making repairs.

One of the hardest hit areas in Angelina County appears to be along FM 1891 and Choppin Road.  The landscape is littered with uprooted trees.  The Old Redtown School, which is now a church and adjacent to the Redtown Senior Citizens Center had roof damage.  Volunteers spent Friday replacing carpet in the Senior Citizens Center which had damage from the heavy rain earlier this week.

Tree cutters were called to a resident on Choppin Road where high winds knocked over trees and caused damage to a home and adjacent workshop.  Another resident in the 34-hundred block of FM 1819 was using a tractor to clear his yard of heavy trees knocked down by the severe storms.  Still at another residence in the 15-hundred block of Choppin Road fallen trees were strewn all across yards, including one tree which had fallen on a pickup truck parked in a driveway.

The sidelines along FM 1819 looked like a tornado, or something close to it, cut a path down both sides, snapping the tree tops and pulling other trees up out of the ground, exposing their roots.  There are no reports of severe injuries.  One resident mused, "It's a miracle no one was hurt or killed."

Just from the looks of things, it appears the sounds of chain saws, tractors and axes will be heard for several days in this area, as residents try to restore some sense of normalcy to the area.

The stench of mildew has already set in.

"When I first seen it, I was like, you know, I'm glad there wasn't nobody in there," Peggy Brown said.

"A couple miles from here it was the same thing," Bonnie Allen said. "On one side of the county road, it just looked like a big hand had just wiped the trees out and on the other side, nothing."

Redtown, tucked away in the northwestern part of Angelina County, was not hidden from the eye of Monday's storm.

"Lots of damage here, this tree laid right on the house and the house yesterday had to be picked up with a front-end loader, on a tractor and raised up to get it level again," Allen said.

Homes, cemeteries, and even churches were not spared from high winds and lightening as the storm danced down FM 1819.

"All the sheds for the horses, the barns, and stalls, everything is blown away and then in the back you see trees everywhere you look that have been twisted and destroyed," Allen said.

Even the historic central school building where her grandmother attended class needs some serious repairs.

This tin came off the roof of the building and it's scattered along the side of the road for about 100 feet. That's about as long as a football field.

"Well you're thankful that everyone is safe and no one was hurt like in some places and then like, you hate it," Allen said. "But everything can be repaired and replaced."

And that's what Brown is working on now: fixing the damage in the old school that's now a church and the Redtown Senior Citizens Center.

"You help each other, you know, and that's what we need a lot of, people helping each other," Brown said.

Much is cleaned up, but the storm's path is evident in the piles of debris that will be burned when the ban is lifted.

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