Hill County homeowners cleaning up after tornado

Posted at 7:33 AM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 12:37:48-05

Homeowners are anxiously awaiting after a tornado touched down in Central Texas Sunday night. 

In Whitney, several homes are damaged.

Lynn Henry has lived in Whitney for several years and this was the second time her house was hit by a tornado.

Henry had invited her children and grandchildren to her home to watch the Dallas Cowboys game. Henry said in the middle of the game they began getting alerts about severe weather. She received a call from her brother who said they heard reports a tornado was nearby.

"By the time we opened the door to see, we could hear it coming and closed the door and took cover in the hallway."

The storm lasted just a matter of minutes. "You could feel the walls shaking and you could hear all the glass popping in the house and you could feel the pressure in the house and like I said all of us were scared because you don't know what's going to happen," Henry said.

Next door, Henry's neighbor Billy Melin, was also watching the Cowboys game with family when the power went out. The family continued to stream the game, but stopped momentarily to look at the sky, which he described as darker than he'd ever seen."

Melin's family took cover in the bottom portion of their split-level home. Melin said it felt like a lifetime as the tornado passed the house, that the storm sounded like explosions.' When it passed he said it was calm, until they went outside. 

"After I passed the shop and the garage I noticed that most of my deck was gone and then I walked over toward the barn and I saw a had somebody's roof in my backyard," Melin said. 

Several trees along the property were uprooted and snapped. One cedar tree had fallen partially onto the roof and atop his car.

"I stepped out around the tree and checked the vehicles and my baby, my Mustang GT, is under that tree. And then I walked down to check on my Harley, my second baby," Melin said. 

While his motorcycle is alright, he knows there will be a big clean up in the days ahead. The wall of his shop was hit by the storm and the front of the garage collapsed.

Henry and her family saw most of their damage with their cars. Both of the vehicles had the windows blown out. The glass got into the children's car seats and she worries they won't be salvageable. Until they are fixed the family is out of a car. 

Henry isn't too worried though. 

"Hey you go to get up everyday you got to go on so why not make the best of it all this is just material things as long as you've got your life  you get up everyday but some people aren't that lucky."

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