Orange County Recovery, Cleanup Begins Following Tornado


Houses with large chunks of roofs and missing debris have been seen around Orange and Deweyville.

ORANGE, Texas – A day after heavy rains and tornadoes, people have to pick up the pieces.

From an aerial view, it is easy to see the severity of the damage. Houses with large chunks of roofs and missing debris have been seen around Orange and Deweyville.

Orange County Judge John Gothia announced a declaration of disaster for Orange County on Wednesday.

The American Red Cross was in Orange to shelter those whose homes were badly damaged.

County officials are trying to determine the extent of the damage Thursday evening.

Emergency management teams inspected Old Peveto Road in Orange, an area affected by one of the tornadoes. A man told 12News that the tornado passed through his house.

“It looked like chocolate water was filling the window,” said Chad Havens, a resident of Orange County. “My truck is about 10 feet from that window. I couldn’t see my truck anymore. “

He said when he started to feel the air being sucked out of his house, he knew the low pressure was a sign of a tornado.

“It was like you were on the tracks under the train,” Havens said.

He said his home had minor cosmetic damage, but a building designed to withstand 120 mph winds was destroyed.

“He opened it like a can opener, the shrapnel flying,” Havens said. “There’s a freight trainer over there who flew over the store hit the shaft shed bounced off the shaft shed then threw it against a tree.”

Like many others in Southeast Texas, Havens picks up the pieces. Emergency management director Joel Ardoin said emergency management began assessing the damage on Wednesday and Thursday. They are using drones to follow the path of the storm.

“We’ll actually be able to map it and see the actual path of the storm and see the damage that has happened on both sides, the speed of the wind that has hit. There are a lot of things that come into play, ”said Ardoin.

Ardoin reminds people to be careful when cleaning debris from yards and houses and he asks you to complete the ISTAT report if you have suffered any damage.

RELATED: Orange County Residents Affected by Tornadoes Must Report Property Damage Through TDEM Investigation

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