A survey National Weather Service meteorologists conducted on storm damage in the Etoile indicates that the damage done to numerous homes Friday night and early Saturday morning was caused by straight-line winds that reached speeds of up to 110 mph.
NWS meteorologists conducted the damage survey Monday. According to the National Weather Service website, "a downburst occurred as an eastward line of thunderstorms moved across Sam Rayburn." The survey summary states that the winds likely accelerated across the open waters of the lake before they slammed into the westward-exposed shoreline south of Etoile.
"Numerous trees were snapped and uprooted," the summary states. "In addition, the boat awning at the Shirley Creek Marina was damaged, and several residences sustained minor damage to roof shingles. One residence was severely damaged, as a large part of the roof deck was uplifted and walls partially collapsed."
According to a previous East Texas News story, a spokesperson for the Etoile Volunteer Fire Department said that almost two dozen homes were damaged in the storms that blew through the area on March 24. Three of the homes received major damage.
Members of the Etoile VFD worked to help clear fallen trees over the course of the weekend. Neighbors pitched in as well with wood chippers, chain saws, and tractors.
Jan Amen said her neighbor was sitting on his couch when he got up to go to the bathroom. Not long after that, a pine tree came crashing down on the man's home.
"I mean, it was just seconds away from being deadly for him," Amen said.
Boats also broke away from the docks in Shirley Creek Estates and drifted out into Sam Rayburn Reservoir.