Group of businesses in Ennis hit hard by brief, but strong storm




Posted on September 2, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 7 at 5:46 PM

Pit Stop BBQ

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ENNIS - There was no rest for the weary Thursday in Ellis County as they got another good soaking while trying to clean up from the damaging storm that swept through the night before.

The hardest hit area was along Highway 287 in Ennis. With the skies clearing up just before noon, crews began to clear debris.

The storm blew through as over three dozen people gathered at the Pit Stop BBQ for food and karaoke Wednesday night. Among those at the Pit Stop was Tim Welch, who is employed by a company that just set up shop nearby. The company rests on a 300-acre field, where 18 portable sheds recently assembled were ready for sale. Now, damage can be seen across the area, including a mobile home that overturned and fell onto two vehicles.

"[We] set up all the buildings and everything was in a nice, perfect row, and it took about five minutes and it all scattered across the highway," Welch said. "It hit so fast we really didn't have time to prepare."

"We found a bunch of debris in the high-speed lane," said Vanessa Graham, the owner of the Pit Stop. "Cars were going over on top of it. The guys had to go out and pull everything off the highway. I'm just glad we were all okay because we had over 40 people here last night for karaoke."

The Grahams also own a used car lot across from the Pit Stop, which was where a vehicle that was once described as a gently used Hummer for sale for $50,000 was damaged by a mobile home that fell onto its top. They also own the field where the new business was about to open. Graham said the owners plan to rebuild and have insurance to cover what they estimate is about $80,000 in damage.