TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Due to the series of tornadoes that swept through northeast Texas in early November, more than 10,000 acres and $13 million worth of timber has been severely damaged, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.
On Nov. 4, there were seven tornadoes that came through North Texas with five of those impacting East Texas counties of Bowie, Cass, Henderson and Morris.
One East Texan was found dead due to the storm that came through Morris County.
In Bowie County, an EF-2 tornado with peak winds around 125 mph stretched for 15.7 miles and was 1,200 yards across at its widest point. The tornado damaged 2,279 acres of timber, 624 acres of pine forest, 1,327 acres of hardwood forest and 328 acres of mixed pine-hardwood forest. The total value of damaged timber in the county is estimated at $2.7 million.
In Cass County, an EF-1 tornado with peak wind speeds of 110 mph damaged 3,250 acres of timber along its path of more than 20 miles. The damage included nearly 1,626 acres of pine forest, 1,149 acres of hardwood forest and 476 acres of mixed forest. The total value of damaged timber in the county is estimated at $4.1 million.
Damage in Henderson County was linked to an EF-2 tornado with estimated peak winds of 115 mph. That tornado tracked more than 16 miles and damaged 194 acres of predominantly hardwood forest with an estimated value of $235,120.
The tornado in Morris County, an EF-2 with estimated peak winds of 125 mph, tracked 16.9 miles and damaged 1,216 acres, 384 acres of pine forest, 645 acres of hardwood forest and 187 acres of mixed forest, with an estimated timber value of $2.1 million.
The damage assessment used forest inventory data collected by Texas A&M Forest Service foresters and technicians as part of the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. The data, including forest health, tree numbers, size and condition, was used along with satellite imagery from before and after the storms to estimate damage to timber. The FIA data is updated on an annual basis.
Dr. Aaron Stottlemyer, Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Analytics Department Head, said the damage assessment is part of an effort to help local officials compile an accurate survey of storm impacts and recovery needs and could play a role in helping the counties secure disaster aid.
Stottlemyer said similar damage assessments, using a combination of satellite imagery and on-the-ground observations along with Forest Inventory and Analysis data, can be used to determine the toll of hurricanes, wildfires and other major events on trees across the state.
“We’ve developed protocols for rapidly assessing timber damage following major disasters that have become a model for similar efforts across the South. Our agency performs this work as a service to the people of Texas.”Dr. Aaron Stottlemyer, Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Analytics Department Head
For more information, visit the Texas A&M Forest Service website.