Cleanup underway across southeast Texas after stormy weekend

Winds near Oak Forest tore a tree from its roots, sending it toppling into a home (Simon Gutierrez)

June 9, 2013 4:30:06 PM PDT
Communities across our area received a good soaking Sunday.

Strong storms came through, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds.

Clouds darkened the skies and heavy rain left pools of water, but the rain was not the biggest problem. It was the strong winds that left many residents having to clean up.

On Lido Lane in the Oak Forest neighborhood, howling winds tossed tree limbs around like toothpicks.

One jagged limb ended up puncturing the wall of a home.

"There's actually about a six-inch round tree branch from a pine tree that's sticking completely through the wall about another eight inches on the other side," Matthew Quartaro with Q Roofing explained as he surveyed the damage.

Next door, a tree torn from its roots landed on Mike Whiting's house.

"We were watching TV and we looked out the window and the wind had really picked up," Whiting said. "My son looked out, and all of a sudden we heard a loud 'bang.'"

Down the street, winds peeled back the roof of a school. Neighbors didn't know for sure what was happening. With all the news about tornadoes recently, that was the first thing on a lot of people's minds.

"About 300 feet up, he could see smaller limbs spinning in the air; debris flying around," Quartaro said.

"We went running to the bathroom," Whiting said.

ABC13 Chief Meteorologist Tim Heller looked at Doppler radar velocity data and there were no signs of a tornado in that area. Heller said the strongest wind gusts from the storms today were 35-40mph.

For some, the storm just knocked out power. For Whiting and his family, it's the second time a tree has landed on their house. The last time was during Hurricane Ike.

This storm, though it was no hurricane, leaves them with the same cleanup and repair bill.

"Last time, during Ike, it was a few months," Whiting said. "It looks about the same, so. Yeah, it's going to be a hassle. It's going to be a big time hassle."

Find Simon on Facebook at ABC13SimonGutierrez or on Twitter at @sggutierrez


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