Thursday's storm damage in Cherokee Co. confirmed to be from straight line winds

WELLS, TX (KTRE) - When the storm system blew through East Texas Thursday afternoon, it damaged several homes and outbuildings in Cherokee County and knocked trees down.

At a quarter to twelve Thursday afternoon, large hail stones began to rain down on Jimmy Keith's home. Keith said he heard a loud roar from outside his window and when he peeked out, a large tree fell flat onto his shed crushing it down like a soda can.

The National Weather Service has confirmed the damage sustained by the storm is not from a tornado but from straight line winds. Most of the Cherokee County damage occurred in an rural area between Wells and Alto.

Area residents said that several fences were knocked down, and as a result, cattle got out of their pastures. The cattle wandered onto a county road, and school buses couldn't get through until the cattle was rounded up a short time later.

James Shelton says he still thinks it's a tornado.

"I heard people say they saw one up there and I heard people all the way down there and  know it was on the ground in here for three quarters ofa mile because we see the damage," Shelton said.


View Slideshow of storm damage

In one spot, the winds twisted a metal outbuilding into a pretzel shape. Elsewhere, the wind dropped a tree onto the back end of a pickup, flattening it. In addition, the wind ripped the roof of a barn with  metal siding.

Shelton's neighbors, Wells and Trapp Michael, said the storm came fast and left even faster shredding their shed like a piece of paper and knocking down a tree on their truck.

A.C. Moninger says he didn't hear or see anything but his brother's roof was ripped off.

"Between 11:30 and 12 o'clock, there was a little tornado that came through here. We didn't even hear it at our house about two blocks down, but it came down and took half the roof off the house," Moninger said.

Houston resident Randy Petty says he drove up to Wells after his mom said there was a tornado.

"This is my aunt's house and took the roof off and took tractors upside down and took duwn a bunch of trees and typical tornado stuff," Petty said.

Residents expect to continue repairs throughout the weekend.

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