Storm blows roof off Lufkin family's home

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin family is trying to stay warm after Tuesday's storm blew the roof off their house off of State Highway 103 East.

The Rhea family was enjoying Christmas Tuesday morning when they heard an unfamiliar noise.

A gust of wind passed through, then seconds later things were calm.

Alice Rhea said, "It was just like a big wind. We could barely get the door open. Then we got in the house, got the kids together, everybody went to the safest part of the house we thought that we could get to. And it just blew through and before you knew it, it was over."

According to Alice Rhea, the family was watching coverage of the storm on KTRE when limbs started falling around the house. Her husband went outside and saw the roof starting to blow off and ordered his family back inside to take cover.

Once things calmed down, they walked back outside to find their roof in their backyard. Their neighbor saw and heard everything.

"I heard everything. It sounded like locomotive; it sounded like a train. I looked out the window and I saw my neighbor's house," Jeanette Harden said. "I mean their porch was just peeled back and the roof was in the woods. I was stunned at what I was looking at."

Rhea and Harden say this is something they have never experienced. They say they have witnessed hurricanes in the area but never winds this strong. Harden believes only a tornado could cause this much damage.

"That's horrible. No wind could do that. That had to be a tornado," Harden said.

Alice Rhea's landlord and several generous men worked all day Tuesday to build a new roof for the family. Four adults and three children are living in the rental home.

"I'm just so thankful. I'm so thankful that everybody's safe and we made it through; nobody was hurt or anything," Rhea said. "And then I'm blessed to have people like that come out and help us right away."

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