›› Twisters man­gle 50 homes in Si­enna Plan­ta­tion.

Green sky where roof had been shakes up Mis­souri City fam­ily

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - By David Hunn

The outer edges of Hur­ri­cane Har­vey whipped through Fort Bend County early Satur­day, send­ing a tor­nado up a sin­gle street, rip­ping roofs off rafters, tear­ing porches off homes, and snap­ping dozens of thick, tall trees as if they were dry saplings.

At least 12 houses were vis­i­bly dam­aged on Vieux Carre, a street of stately homes with arched en­try­ways, wrought­iron fences and old trees in Si­enna Plan­ta­tion, a Mis­souri City sub­urb just south of Sugar Land.

The county emer­gency man­age­ment of­fice said 50 houses were hit in to­tal, most sus­tain­ing mi­nor dam­age. It was the worst of Har­vey’s im­pact on Hous­ton so far.

The Satur­day storm, ranked by the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice as a mi­nor tor­nado, pulled down full brick walls on Vieux Carre, crum­bling the rem­nants into yards like an­cient ru­ins. It plucked 12-foot long, 4-inch thick sup­port beams from porches and roofs, and threw them into yards or im­paled them into neigh­bor­ing homes, where they still stuck out of yards and roofs later Satur­day morn­ing.

Mul­ti­ple res­i­dents said dam-

age to their homes was so bad, rain fell un­abated into their kitchens and liv­ing rooms.

“We have no roof up there,” said Jamie El­lis, 48, nod­ding to his sec­ond floor. “We have a sun roof.”

El­lis said he was catch­ing up on the HBO hit “Game of Thrones” up­stairs at about 1:30 a.m. when the storm hit. His wife, Sta­cie, yelled from down­stairs to grab their son, Zachary, 15.

“All of a sud­den, it was so loud,” El­lis said. “You could feel the whole house shake.”

El­lis bolted from the TV room. As he ran down the hall­way to­ward his son’s room, he felt de­bris hit­ting his face.

Then he saw a green sky open up to his left, where the roof should have been.

He grabbed Zachary and ran down­stairs, into the master bed­room closet, with his wife. But by then, the storm had passed.

Satur­day morn­ing, res­i­dents took stock of the dam­age. In pon­chos, rain­coats and pa­ja­mas, they walked dogs, skip­ping around tree limbs, signs, brick and beam. They got out pots and buck­ets to put un­der drips in­side. Many were on their phones, telling loved ones they were OK, or try­ing to get through to their in­sur­ance com­pa­nies. A few walked back to their own, dam­aged homes af­ter spend­ing fit­ful nights with more for­tu­nate neigh­bors.

Around 7 a.m., the sound of chain saws in­ter­rupted the steady drum of rain. By mid­day, rain had sub­sided and the street filled with home­own­ers and friends clean­ing up. They picked up bricks, dragged wood into piles and combed yards for glass, shin­gles and de­bris. An army of roof re­pair­men, ply­wood piled high in their trucks, sta­pled thick tarps over roof holes.

“We read on Face­book it was bad,” said Ha­ley Ko­var, 24, who was help­ing a friend cleanup. “We had no idea it was this bad.”

Res­i­dents mar­veled at the aid. “It’s such a small neigh­bor­hood,” said Masha Sharf, 32. “Ev­ery­body’s so close.”

Still, in the light, the ex­tent of the dam­age was clearer. Be­hind a shat­tered win­dow gaped a miss­ing roof. Next to a bent fence, a tow­er­ing stone fire­place had top­pled. A kayak, once stored in a back­yard, had been picked up and thrown into a front yard in­stead. And at least one thick, tall tree, while un­bro­ken, had bent over un­til its crown touched the ground.

Har­vey ren­dered home­less sev­eral in Si­enna on Satur­day, at least tem­po­rar­ily. With more rain on the hori­zon, some still weren’t sure where they’d end up that night. david.hunn@chron.com Twitter.com/@david­hunn

Abel Carre’o of Yel­low­stone Land­scap­ing clears downed branches in the Si­enna Plan­ta­tion com­mu­nity in Mis­souri City. Early Satur­day, Hur­ri­cane Har­vey spawned a tor­nado be­lieved re­spon­si­ble for dam­age to as many as 50 homes in the area.

El­iz­a­beth Con­ley pho­tos / Hous­ton Chron­i­cle

El­iz­a­beth Con­ley pho­tos / Hous­ton Chron­i­cle

“We have a sun roof,” quipped Jamie El­lis, pic­tured stand­ing out­side his dam­aged Si­enna Plan­ta­tion home.

A street­light was knocked down Satur­day in Si­enna Plan­ta­tion.

A brick fence is dam­aged at the hous­ing de­vel­op­ment.

In­side El­lis’ home, rain­wa­ter falls on the sec­ond floor as a re­sult of Hur­ri­cane Har­vey.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.