Denise Day said Wednesday it was only Monday that a contractor had repaired the roof of her U.S. 259 house just south of Diana after the May 8 storm that brought straight-line winds and damaged hundreds of area homes and triggered widespread power failures.
“It blew this door open,” Day said, pointing to minor damage to the Upshur County house where she has lived for five years. “Flooded our bathroom.”
Around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Day and her husband, Ron, were surveying the damage from a new storm that ripped off the metal roof and tore out wood rafters and the foam insulation ceiling of their 30-by-60-foot metal recreation building, downed a power line, knocked over a wooden fence, felled trees and did other damage to their 3-acre property.
The storm system that blew through early Wednesday damaged several areas of Northeast Texas and included at least one small tornado, the National Weather Service has confirmed.
The weather service in Shreveport dispatched a crew Wednesday to central Harrison County and the Nesbitt area — about 20 miles southeast of the Diana area — after reports of damages there.
The crew confirmed a tornado with a rating of EF0 (a maximum strength of 85 mph) touched down 3 miles southwest of Harleton at 6:03 a.m., lasted less than 1 minute and extended 0.18 miles, weather service meteorologist Brandi Richardson said.
She said the tornado uprooted trees and broke off tree branches. She also said straight-line winds downed trees and power lines throughout Harrison County.
“Straight-line winds can be just as bad (as tornadoes),” Richardson said.
First responders reported fallen trees throughout the region, but no injuries.
And crews from AEP-Southwestern Electric Power Co. worked throughout the day to restore power to 16,000 homes, businesses and other customers in an area stretching from Grand Saline east to the Louisiana border and from Mount Pleasant south to Carthage.
Power outages struck the Longview and surrounding areas, but Longview appeared to largely escape damage from the storm.
SWEPCO spokeswoman Carey Sullivan said power outages in the greater Longview area peaked at 4,100 customers Wednesday. She said SWEPCO expected to restore power to 95 percent of its customers by 11 p.m. Wednesday while cautioning another storm was forecast to arrive later in the night.
Upshur Rural Electrical Co-operative reported outages throughout its service area, including 1,341 in Nesbitt and 1,906 in Hallsville.
Wednesday’s storm dumped 1.29 inches of rain in Longview, Richardson said.
The storm, which was caused by a low-pressure system, brought the year’s total to 31.77 inches in Longview, weather service meteorologist Charlie Woodrum said. The total is higher than the 24.85 inches as of the same date in 2018 and the average of 22.89 inches.
More wet weather is on the way, and the weather service predicted heat values as high as 105 for today. The weather service forecast a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 8 a.m. today, with sunshine eventually replacing clouds and an afternoon high of 93 degrees.
The mercury is expected to dip to 76 degrees tonight with temperatures rising to 93 on Friday.
The weather service forecasts a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Saturday, rising to 40 percent Sunday and 50 percent Monday. Highs will be near 92 Saturday, 91 Sunday and 88 Monday.
Back in Diana, with the storm expected to resume Wednesday night, the Days planned to place tarpaulins over their damaged rec building to protect its contents. They spent the afternoon covering four game tables to prevent water damage and moved three motorcycles out of the building.
Day, a travel agent, retired junior high math teacher and Longview native, said she and her husband were expecting the arrival of an insurance adjuster within 48 hours.
“We are blessed (the storm) did not hit the house and hurt anybody,” Day said. “Everything is replaceable.”