Clean up continues in Etoile area in wake of Friday night's storm

Resident Jan Amen demonstrates how she and her dog, Jo, took to the closet as the storm passed through. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Resident Jan Amen demonstrates how she and her dog, Jo, took to the closet as the storm passed through. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A National Weather Service meteorologist arrived in Etoile Monday to determine, if possible, exactly what kind of storm passed through the area Friday night.

The Etoile Volunteer Fire Department said Monday that three homes received major damage. About 20 other homes were less severely affected.

East Texas News traveled to Shirley Creek Estates where said they are counting their blessings.

Wood chippers, chain saws and tractors have been going in Shirley Creek Estates all weekend long. Everyone pitches in.

This cleanup will take a while, especially for a resident at one house in Shirley Creek Estates.

"He was sitting on that brown couch, right over my shoulder there, before it hit," said the man's neighbor Jan Amen, who is a member of the Etoile VFD.  "And he got up to go to the bathroom, and right then the pine tree came down on his house. I mean, it was just seconds away from being deadly for him."

Amen was awakened by the storm. The retired Texas Forest Service representative grabbed her suitcase filled with three days of clothes and food.

"This has my pills and some Neosporin," Amen said. You never know."

She knows to take safety precautions.

"It was howling and blowing and things were hitting the glass on the porch, so we got in here," Amen said. "Come on Jo. Get my helmet. Put my helmet on. And we covered up with this. That's a girl. That's a good girl. And we waited until there was no sound."

Lake residents said it didn't last any time at all and was over as fast as it arrived. Some boats broke away from the docks and floated out. Perhaps that was the safest place.

Judging by the storm damage, the storm came right up the shore line of Sam Rayburn Reservoir to Shirley Creek Estates. One homeowner clocked the winds at 68 miles per hour.

Now Amen and the volunteer firefighters continue to help out where needed and wait for the official word on what sort of storm left its mark on Shirley Creek Estates.

Also. the Etoile Volunteer Fire Department is accepting damaged metal roofing and other roofing material to sell as a fundraiser.

Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.