WINONA, Texas (KETK) — Uprooted trees, downed, power lines and damaged buildings: A tornado touched down briefly in Winona, as students held classes inside on Monday morning, leaving behind a mess many were not expecting. Witnesses said this storm was surprisingly quick and dangerous.
“Basically, it was about 20-30 seconds and it seemed like it was just here and gone,” said Winona resident, Nelson Brumley.
East Texans are thrilled about the rainfall we have received, but many were not expecting the destruction that was left behind.
“I had a carport and now it’s all in the backyard. It’s gone. It’s history. It’s just rough. Basically, it came from right behind the school which basically just across the road and basically went right across the corner of my property,” said Nelson Brumley.
Mostly minor damages have been reported at the high school. Downed power lines with trees have fallen on homes in nearby neighborhoods. Residents say the storm was so quick, it felt like it passed within seconds.
“My phone starts going off about a possible tornado warning and I’m like… ‘well, they are a bit late!’ Then, the sirens in the city start going off and the tornado was already gone,” said Brumley.
“If it had gone and hit the school, it would have been very devastating because they didn’t have any notice,” said Nelson’s wife, Shelley Brumley.
Smith County Road and Bridge was one of the first to arrive on the scene and helped to remove trees off the road.
“The tornado traveled north from here. Went across 155 and down into what we call the Pine Hurst Ranch area which is where a lot of the pecan orchards and things like that are in that area. We’re fortunate that it went around the school where our kids are at,” said Smith County Precinct 4 Constable, Josh Joplin.
State Representative Cole Hefner who represents the area in Austin also stopped in Winona.
“People just really show up here and come together to help each other. That’s what our community is about and that’s who we are. It’s an honor to be a part of it and represent them in Austin. To be out here with them and see what we can do. This is unfortunate, but it does show others who we are,” said Rep. Hefner.
Everyone is ready to support a community in a time of need. Officials say even with the significant rainfall, the area remains under a burn ban.