By Heather Foster; Photos by Heather Foster
What started as an ordinary December afternoon, dreary, misting rain, and only two days before Christmas, turned out to be a destructive and devastating day for a few families in the Sand Jack Community of Bon Wier, Texas.
Terry and Pamela Samuel lost their home to the tornado, their roof mostly gone, leaving much of the inside of their house exposed to the December elements. Thankfully, the Samuel’s were not home at the time of the incident, but to borrow a familiar phrase, they have the very difficult task of ‘picking up the pieces’ when those thousands of pieces are strewn throughout the yard and community. Terry Samuel expressed that this is even harder considering that he and his wife lost their son around the same time just one year ago to an automobile accident.
For Rob and Devon Harrison, their home did not suffer any damage, but their 200′ x 200′ barn that had been on the property for 60 years was completely destroyed. More so, Devon Harrison was home at the time when the tornado hit. “That tornado sounded like a freight train coming out of nowhere. I looked out the window and saw a huge tornado, and it looked like a giant swirling ball of smoke headed straight for us.” Harrison said that when she realized what was going on, she ran to her ailing mother-in-law, picked her up, and ran into the interior of the house. “When it hit the barn, it was so deafening when the sheet metal was ripping and tearing and slamming into the ground.” Miraculously, all of her animals were found safe. Since then she has relocated eight horses to a facility in Louisiana while repairs are made.
Newton County News spoke with meteorologist Eric Brill who said that although a December tornado seems weird, it’s actually not that uncommon. “Different air masses collide over Southeast Texas this time of year, and when that happens, Mother Nature isn’t a happy camper, and can result in pretty strong and severe storms like this one.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Harrison’s as they rebuild their barn and fences and especially with the Samuel’s who are without a home this holiday season.