By Kim Cox
COOPER — The storm that blew through the area Friday evening turned out to be more than just a storm.
On Monday, members of the National Weather Service visited both Enloe and Cooper to assess the damage and path of the storm, announcing that what passed through was, in fact tornadoes.
“We had six structures in the the city that had damage and two in the Enloe community, they were completely destroyed,” said Cooper Volunteer Fire Dept. Assistant Chief Tanner Crutcher.
Both tornadoes were rated EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, meaning gusts where 65-85 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
“The one in Cooper was close to a ‘1,’ but there wasn’t a clear enough path,” Crutcher said.
The tornado did the most damage in Cooper in the northwestern part of the city, tearing through an old cotton gin and a building across from a church on Dallas Avenue.
Nearby on 11th Street, Lisa Miller was clearing her yard of debris Monday morning.
“I got lucky,” she said. “It was a big bump across my window and took the plastic off of my chicken pen.
“The thunder it was doing … it was a different kind of thunder I had never heard before. It was a strange, clatter-type of thunder. It was the weirdest thing I ever heard.”
Miller said one of her neighbors told her the tornado pushed in the pop-out section of his camper a bit. Another of her neighbors, Thomas Lord, said the tornado sucked two of his window air conditioning units out of their sills.
“We found them in the pasture,” he said.
Lord had an insurance adjuster out at his home Monday afternoon, looking at the storm damage, and noted the tornado also knocked the wall off of his storage shed and knocked the shed itself off of its cinder blocks.
He was outside when the tornado first hit, he said, stepping outside after the rain stopped.
“I thought it was over with and stepped outside,” Lord said. “It got all quiet, then that wind started swirling. It didn’t take long.”
That’s just the weather in this state, Miller said.
“We had a tornado and then it snowed the next day. That’s Texas for you,” she said.
On the Lamar County side of things, the emergency responders were ready Friday night, Lamar County Emergency Services Coordinator Quincy Blount said.
“I know the storms in Lamar County weren’t as severe,” he said. “We immediately went ahead and sent spotters out and set the siren off to give people as much warning as possible.”
Though the tornadoes left Lamar County alone, Blount said they were ready to help Delta County as well.
“I was on the phone with the Delta County Emergency Coordinator,” he said. “We communicate with each other very well.”