Severe Storm Hits Trinity County

"A lot of thundering, a lot of lightning; the wind was just blowing extremely fast and then all of a sudden we heard this ka boom and we all ran out of the office to find our beautiful tree had fallen down," said Trinity County resident, Brandy Welker.

Strong winds and heavy rain knocked out power at the Trinity County Sheriff's Office during a storm Thursday night in Groveton. Cindy Crum was there working when the storm came through. The department re-routed all 911 calls to Angelina County and moved jail inmates to a safe location inside the building.

Crum said, "It began to rain, then all of a sudden the wind started blowing and we couldn't see nothing. We went inside and I made sure my inmates were locked down."

Dispatcher Jeannie Odom's been through a tornado before. She'll never forget the sound a funnel cloud makes. She said whatever came through Trinity County Thursday night sounded similar.

"All of a sudden I could see the rain swirling and the trees started bending. I told Cindy 'I think this is a tornado.' We ran in and shut the door. It really came through quick and fast."

Trinity County residents are not sure a tornado is what caused all the damage. The National Weather Service told them it was a thunderstorm with winds of up to 60 miles an hour. NWS meteorologists are expected to survey the damage and issue their report on what may have caused it within a few weeks.

Most of the debris has been cleaned up. All roads were re-opened and power restored within three hours of the storm.