Christmas Day tornado destroys property in Houston Co.

Lovelady State Bank
Lovelady State Bank

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The National Weather Service reported at least three possible tornado touch downs in Houston and Trinity Counties this morning.

Just after 9 a.m. Christmas morning, a possible tornado touch down near Houston County Lake was reported to the National Weather Service.

Around 9:22 a.m., the National Weather Service received a public report of tornado damage on Highway 287 about 13 miles southeast of Crockett, which destroyed a feed store owned by resident, Bob Shotwell. A house used for storage and Shotwell's office were also destroyed.

A few hundred feet away from Shotwell's Feed Store a home and barn were destroyed. James Bowman was sitting in his living room Tuesday morning when he says a suspected tornado passed through.

"I was just sitting in the living room in the recliner and all of a sudden the wind come up, and it kept getting stronger and stronger. And I thought this house withstood the hurricanes and stuff, so I'm not worried," James Bowman, Houston Co. resident, said.

"And at about that time the inside of the living room started falling down, so I just sat there in the recliner and then it didn't last but just a few seconds then it stopped. And I got up and went into the other part of the house; it seems to be ok. I walked out on the back porch and the barn was gone, trees were down."

Bowman was home alone when his house was damaged but is grateful to have walked out alive and safe.

"I feel very fortunate that God blessed me," Bowman said. "I just thank god that I wasn't hurt and the walls and stuff didn't fall in on me."

Crockett Police also reported damage to the Lovelady State Bank, as well as a home that lost it's roof and trees and power lines down in the area. They are not reporting any injuries at this time.

There was also a report to the NWS by a trained spotter of a tornado passing through a pasture about 15 miles southeast of Crockett in Trinity County.

Around 10 a.m. there were reports of one inch hail 11 miles northwest of Lufkin.

As of 10:45 a.m., ONCOR customers without power:

Angelina County - 6,126
Houston County - 177

A tornado watch remains in effect for Deep East Texas through 4 p.m. Christmas Day.

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