RUSK COUNTY, Texas (KETK)- Two suspected tornadoes in Rusk County left homes without roofs and power, so residents had to look for shelter at the nearby convenience store.
“Big hail started to hit the side, and then I heard the roof leave,” said Joel Mason, a resident of Whispering Pines RV Park.
The storms back in March barely missed this area and now have left this community with significant damage, especially Whispering Pines.
The RV park is located on Highway 259 South between Mount Enterprise and Minden. Parts of it sustained considerable damage during the storm.
“There were a couple of buildings that were turned over on their sides and a couple of RV’s were knocked off their blocks and relocated, not far just pretty much picked them up and put them right back down,” said Rusk County Sheriff, Johnwayne Valdez.
Thankfully, no life-threatening injuries have been reported. Rusk County officials say they are concerned for drivers that are out on the roadways at this time.
“Stay off the roads and stay home. This is not a time to go out and look or take videos from your phones of these storms in the debris. Tomorrow will be a whole lot better,” said Valdez.
He said there were also some pine limbs that went through an RV. According to the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management, one non-life-threatening injury was reported after a resident was hit by a tree, and no other injuries or fatalities were identified.
Besides flash floods and debris impacting the area, residents say this is the worst storm season they’ve seen.
“Yeah! About 30 days ago, we had one hit here. It bent the sign and now the sign is on the ground. Definitely the worst one I’ve ever been in,” said Mason. Rusk County first responders are still in response mode as they work to assess those who need assistance.
“We are working with the residents to identify who doesn’t have a safe place to stay overnight and trying to get them accommodations for that. After that, we will move into a recovery effort to see where we can help them go from here,” said Terry Linder, Rusk County Fire Marshall. Officials say as the debris is cleaned up and high water levels on roadways remain, people should not drive in those flooded areas.
A boil water notice has also been issued for Rusk County as storms have left water wells without electricity.
The Rusk County OEM said that several VFD assets, county road, bridge and electric crews are still working in both the Church Hill and Mount Enterprise area to take care of immediate needs. Over the next several days, they will be out with the National Weather Service to do storm surveys.