4tSevere storms in Jackson County left plenty of damage in their wake and caused panic for some residents of the Aspel Community.
“The good Lord was definitely watching over us tonight,” Amber Benson said.
Around 2:30 a.m. or so, while she and her two daughters were upstairs. The alerts she programmed into her phone in case of a tornado started blaring.
“It went off and about 45 seconds later to a minute, the tornado hit. So it was very quick. We barely got downstairs before the tree hit our sunroom,” Benson said.
However, Benson said her husband was actually the closest to the danger.
“He was down actually watching the weather and he saw it come across. So he was in our sunroom and barely got out before the tree fell on top of it,” Benson said.
Todd Barron with the National Weather Service said a lot of the damage appears to be extensive tree damage with trees either snapped or uprooted. About a third of a mile west off of Highway 72 Bo Carr had a similar scare as the Bensons' when a large tree fell on the corner of his house.
“We just barely heard a racket and we was talking about going in the closet and then the next thing I know, within a twinkling of an eye, this happened,” Carr said.
The strong winds combined with the tree falling also caused large chunks of his roof to peel away.
“This tree is supposed to be our strong tree and like you see it fell on the house and luckily it didn't tear it down,” Carr said.
Down the street, Aspel Methodist Church also fell victim to their roof being damaged by the winds.
"The metal roofing was rolled up and we had a lot of damage to the cemetery that we take care of. Big cedars...limbs broke off," said church board member, Keith Dulaney.
Broken limbs and uprooted trees aren't the only issue in the area. Power outages also caused problems for residents and businesses. A Jet-Pep gas station was without power for the day and had to rely on pen and paper to make sales.
"We just break out the old calculator and do the best we can and help the best we can," said Lisa Hamer.
The gas station didn't have any damage, but not being able to operate as normal hurt the business.
"We usually make anywhere from 6 to $1500 a day and we've probably made, had about 15 to 20 sales today. So it's a good loss and that's not including any of the gas sales that, you know, are up to $2000 on gas easily," Hamer said.
Once the storm passed Carr’s mind turned to rebuilding his home.
“We're actually going to get the place secured. She's going to her mom's and we're going to work. We got a lot of work to get done today,” Carr said.
Surveyors with the National Weather Service along with the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency spent part of Tuesday morning going around to all the homes that received damage. They determined the tornado that touched down was a category EF1.
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