NWS releases new data from Lovelady Tornado

The owner of this mobile home left 45 min. before the tornado flipped and destroyed it. (Source: KTRE Staff)
The owner of this mobile home left 45 min. before the tornado flipped and destroyed it. (Source: KTRE Staff)

LOVELADY, TX (KTRE) - The National Weather Service has issued a more detailed report on the EF-1 Tornado that touched down in Lovelady on April 13 between 4:45 and 4:50 pm.

According to the report the wind in the twister peaked at 100 mph. The tornado traveled 0.78 miles and had a width of 20 yards. Experts also said that the tornado lifted near the high school.

The report stated that the high school received minor damage when ceiling panels were lifted off near an entrance. The damage to the school area was rated an Ef0.

The tornado touched down near an area with mobile homes then tracked toward the north northeast with an intermittent damage path," the report said." The tornado lifted just beyond the Lovelady school. The worst damage occurred to the mobile homes. Two large trees were uprooted and fell into one mobile home which sustained severe damage to the central part of the structure. This mobile home was moved off the foundation but remained upright. The Resident was at home but suffered only minor injuries as she was not in the part of the home that was most severely damaged. Another single wide trailer adjacent to that structure was rolled off its foundation. This did not appear to be as well tied down. A third trailer about 50 yards toward the north, northeast had its roof peeled off. The damage was rated Ef1 in this area based on numerous large trees being uprooted and the damage to the trailers."

The East Texas news spent Monday talking with residents affected by the storm.

A Lovelady woman who is battling cancer lost everything when the EF-1 tornado tore through her subdivision Sunday night.

However, it could have been much worse; the woman's son came to get her, so she could spend the night at his house about 45 minutes before her mobile home was destroyed.

"I know it's not a brick house, but it was my home," said Esther Ramirez, the owner of a mobile home that was flipped upside down. "This hurts me very deeply; it was all I had. I don't want to remember. I feel sorry because that is all I got."

Rameriz's granddaughter, Gaby Morales, lives next to her. Morales said she had roof damage. Her main concern though was her grandmother.

"She loved that place," Morales said. "She didn't want to get rid of it. The first thing that popped in my head when I saw it was she is going to be heartbroken."

Three homes were damaged in the Pecan Acres subdivision in Lovelady when the severe weather blew through the area Sunday. One woman was injured as a result of the EF-1 tornado.

Morales said she didn't hear anything like a train before the possible tornado hit. To her, it sounded more like the rumbling of a car, and then she heard a loud crack. When she looked outside, she saw her grandmother's house on its side.

"I know how much my grandmother loved that house," Morales said. "It was her only big possession."

Zavalla residents Jerry Bishop and his wife were in Lovelady Monday as a part of a Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief team from Lufkin's Harmony Hill Baptist Church's chainsaw ministry group. Bishop said they are there to assess the damage and see if there if there is anyone who needs shelter.

"Based on what we were told and what we saw on KTRE, we were surprised that it's not worse than it is," Bishop said.

One woman was hurt in the storm. Toni Cowger was trapped in her trailer after three trees landed on it.  A man next door would help her out and that is when she discovered she had a gash on her leg. Cowger would go to the hospital and later be released.

"I saw a big piece of tin come flying across the yard and when I got up and made it to my patio door the wind was a blowing and howling," Cowger said. "Next thing I know, I'm in the floor."

Several of Cowger's children rushed to help their mother out. Charlotte Cowger said she is amazed that her mother is alive.

"Blessed is quiet a bit of an understatement," Cowger said. [We are] very Lucky, very lucky to have her still here."

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