Tyler Co. residents continue cleanup weeks after EF-1 tornado ri - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Tyler Co. residents continue cleanup weeks after EF-1 tornado ripped through community

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
TYLER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

On Tuesday afternoon, plumes of grey smoke filled the air in the community of Harmony.

Leaning signs, damaged roofs and more downed trees than you can count, all remnants of Mother Nature’s wrath.  

“My husband called me about 6:30 and said a tornado had hit the house and that our roof was gone,” said Sharon Smith, an 11-year resident.

A blue tarp now covers portions of that roof. An unexpected blow, considering just where Smith was when she took her husband’s call.

“I was in Houston working the floods with the Red Cross up there,” Smith said.   

Simply trying to lending a helping hand, she now finds herself needing one of her own.

A similar scene on down the road, just beyond those broken branches…a home. Neighbors say it was vacant at the time this tree came crashing through.

And for Tyler County, losing these trees is much more than just losing historic scenery.

“Well it hurts our economy,” said Dale Freeman, Acting Emergency Management Coordinator for Tyler County.

In a way you wouldn’t expect…

“Tyler County’s greatest economy is our timber, our forest products. So there’s jobs and timber, the damaged timber, the lost timber, the young trees, that’s the future of our economy,” Freeman said.

And although nearly two weeks to the date of that storm, it’s a future that remains uncertain.

“We have a lot of timber, timber companies. People have investments. Some people invest in the stock market, people in Tyler County invest in timber,” Freeman said.

And with lots of that timber now rendered useless, folks here say they’ll continue counting on each other as the cleanup continues.

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