POLLOK, TX (KTRE) - Several residents of Pollok woke up to find their homes damaged by fallen trees, but none were likely as relieved as the Melim family, who found a large tree had fallen into a room next to the one their daughters were sleeping in.
Overnight storms blew over trees, flooded roadways, knocked down power lines and caused outages for thousands across Deep East Texas.
Robert Melim said he was awoken by the sound of the wind blowing debris into the side of his home.
“I woke Crystal up; she’s pregnant, having a baby in 4 weeks. I just had an uneasy feeling,” said Melim. “I felt the house move a little bit. The next thing I knew, I heard a crack.”
That crack was the sound of a tree falling into their home.
“When it hit the house, it literally shifted the house,” Melim recalled. “Our girls stay in the room right next to us, so we got up and made sure they were okay, and they were fine. Then we opened the door to our living room, and it was just chaos.”
Many residents who were awake during the storm said the combination of lightning, thunder, and howling wind sounded more like a tornado.
“I was watching TV, and all the lights went out. All of a sudden, I just heard this big bang,” said Verlinda Steiner, Pollok resident. “I jumped up and I heard this crack; it was like a semi truck, like an engine going through.”
Steiner said it was several more hours before she realized the extent of the damage. Her home was not hit, but she’s heard that several nearby homes were not so lucky.
“As soon as it hit daylight, I noticed the home next door a tree was down on their front porch, a tree was down in their yard, the back is all messed up,” said Steiner. “Several houses got trees down, and limbs down I guess.”
A contractor in the area said the focus Thursday was to remove trees and limbs from homes and yards, and to make sure roads were clear of debris. A county official said it could be days before power is restored to residents living in the area.