A survey crew from the National Weather Service office in Houston confirmed Monday that Sunday's storm damage in Lovelady was caused by an EF-1 tornado.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Web site, EF stands for Enhanced Fujita. Tornadoes are rated 0 through 5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with an EF-5 being the most powerful type of tornado. An EF-1 tornado has 3-second gusts of anywhere from 86 to 110 mph, according to the NOAA Web site.
A Lovelady woman who is battling cancer lost everything when the EF-1 tornado tore through her subdivision Sunday night.
However, it could have been much worse; the woman's son came to get her, so she could spend the night at his house about 45 minutes before her mobile home was destroyed.
"I know it's not a brick house, but it was my home," said Esther Ramirez, the owner of a mobile home that was flipped upside down. "This hurts me very deeply; it was all I had. I don't want to remember. I feel sorry because that is all I got."
Rameriz's granddaughter, Gaby Morales, lives next to her. Morales said she had roof damage. Her main concern though was her grandmother.
"She loved that place," Morales said. "She didn't want to get rid of it. The first thing that popped in my head when I saw it was she is going to be heartbroken."
Three homes were damaged in the Pecan Acres subdivision in Lovelady when the severe weather blew through the area Sunday. One woman was injured as a result of the EF-1 tornado.
Morales said she didn't hear anything like a train before the possible tornado hit. To her, it sounded more like the rumbling of a car, and then she heard a loud crack. When she looked outside, she saw her grandmother's house on its side.
"I know how much my grandmother loved that house," Morales said. "It was her only big possession."
Zavalla residents Jerry Bishop and his wife were in Lovelady Monday as a part of a Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief team from Lufkin's Harmony Hill Baptist Church's chainsaw ministry group. Bishop said they are there to assess the damage and see if there if there is anyone who needs shelter.
"Based on what we were told and what we saw on KTRE, we were surprised that it's not worse than it is," Bishop said.
One woman was hurt in the storm. Toni Cowger was trapped in her trailer after three trees landed on it. A man next door would help her out and that is when she discovered she had a gash on her leg. Cowger would go to the hospital and later be released.
"I saw a big piece of tin come flying across the yard and when I got up and made it to my patio door the wind was a blowing and howling," Cowger said. "Next thing I know, I'm in the floor."
Several of COwger's children rushed to help their mother out. Charlotte Cowger said she is amazed that her mother is alive.
"Blessed is quiet a bit of an understatement," Cowger said. [We are] very Lucky, very lucky to have her still here."
Lovelady High School also suffered damage, but not enough to cancel school for the day.
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