Tornado Cleanup - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/07/05 - Grapeland

Tornado Cleanup

by Donna McCollum

No one is hurt. That's what Grapeland residents are thankful for after a tornado ripped through their town Monday evening.

The tornado traveled right through the middle of town. The National Weather Service says the F-1 tornado left a six-mile track of damage. More than a dozen homes and businesses were damaged by the storm that came through town around 5:00 p.m.

Downtown business owners watched the swirling wind from their store windows. Hardware store owner and city councilman, Frank Chapman said, "We were right in the store and I mean it looked like it went right down Main Street."

Now, Chapman sells what residents need to clean up. "We've had a lot of people in this morning buying chain saws, bars because they've got limbs all over the yard on houses everywhere," said Chapman. The sound of chain saws echoed through Grapeland immediately after the storm. Some were even heard at 3:00 Tuesday morning.

Tree crews and out-of-town repairmen are in town. They showed up suddenly, just like the storm. Resident Johnna McKinney recalled, "It blew up like a thunderstorm and the wind started blowing real, real hard making the rain go straight out, and I ran for cover since that's the second one I've gone through, so I pretty much knew what was coming."

Grapeland, a town of about 1,500 residents, remains somewhat storm shy. Recently, a high school student was struck by lightening and killed. The storms were very similar in nature. Resident Margaret Cramford described it. "The lightning was very severe --I mean bad -- and it came in puffs, and it didn't last more than 15 minutes either."

Yet, there was some warning by the KTRE weather team. Resident Carl Ramirez said, "We could see it on Doppler whenever Lee Ringer pointed it out to us. He does a good job of it, too."

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