Winds cause damage in rural Van Zandt County

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by JASON WHITELY / WFAA-TV

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

wfaa.com

Posted on January 21, 2010 at 12:14 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 21 at 6:07 PM

GRAND SALINE, Texas — Damage from Wednesday's storm is widespread in Van Zandt County.

 

The small town of Grand Saline, 15 miles northeast of Canton, was also in the path of the powerful winds.

Perhaps the most immediate need was to clear roads that were blocked by toppled trees, slowing public safety officials trying to respond to emergency calls.

Pine trees and old oaks fell across County Road 157 southeast of Grand Saline. Citizens armed with chain saws helped make a path.

"We have tree damage all over this area," said Van Zandt County Sheriff pat Burnett. "We have houses that have been destroyed; barns have been destroyed — and that's just what we know in the dark."

Stanley Wyatt lost two barns and electrical power. It was too dark to take inventory of his livestock Wednesday night.

"We've had one or two pieces of the roof of the barn pulled up because of strong wind, but this is the first tornado that's hit out here in more than 20 years," he said.

As cleanup continued through the night, residents worried about what they would wake up to find at first light of day.

The National Weather Service will determine Thursday whether the storm was, in fact, a tornado.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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