National Weather Service surveys tornado damage, destruction in North Texas

ATHENS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — Following the severe weather in North Texas Friday, the National Weather Service has spent the weekend surveying the total damage done by tornadoes.

On Saturday, NWS Fort Worth tweeted that their survey team found damage in Lamar County that is consistent with a high end EF-3 tornado. With wind speeds of up to 160 mph, that tornado injured several people and damaged dozens of homes.

The NWS survey team also confirmed that the city of Athens in Henderson County was hit by an EF-2 tornado with max winds of up to 115 mph.

For several blocks in Athens, people spent their Saturday cleaning up major tree debris while utility crews tried to restore their power and internet.

“No sooner when I got in the house, all hell broke loose,” said Athens resident Cody Foreman. 

It’s a night he’ll never forget.

“The girls got in the hallway, I threw a mattress over them,” Foreman explained. “I looked outside once it was over with, couldn’t get out—had to kick the back door in.”

Fortunately, Foreman’s whole family made it out safe. But now the hard work of cleaning up the damage begins. 

And it’s not just homes impacted in Athens—a few businesses, including the Athens Animal Rescue Shelter, were also impacted.

“We were very concerned because we have an outside area where we do keep dogs,” rescue coordinator Rosana Arthus said. “That was the first thing that came through my mind, ‘How are those dogs?'”

Luckily, all the animals that were left outside were unharmed.

Arthus said it’s a true blessing—a sentiment that has been echoed throughout the community, with residents just grateful to still have what matters most.

“Ain’t nothing that can’t be replaced,” Foreman said.

There are no reported injuries in Henderson County, and the shelter is asking for volunteer foster parents to house some of the animals while they continue to clean up.

As for Lamar County, both state and local partners are helping with the storm response. A Red Cross shelter was also put up at the Church of Christ on Lamar Avenue to help those in need. 

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