February 20, 2013 Edition

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Clifton Jones of Powhatan surveys damage at his home, where strong winds Monday night took the roof off the front half of his home. A large section of the roofing can be seen on the ground in front of him.
Submitted Photo ~ Alan Richey

Lake Charles area
suffers storm damage

Gretchen Hunt

A storm system that moved through Lawrence County Monday night included strong winds, but for most in the county the weather did not reach severe levels.

One pocket of the storm, however, did quite a bit of damage in the Lake Charles area, including damage to a home and two barns.

According to the National Weather Service, the area experienced 40-mile-per-hour winds with bursts of up to as much as 70 miles per hour.

The metal roofing across the front half of the home of Clifton and Angie Jones at Powhatan was stripped off leaving nothing but the rafters.

The Lynn Fire Department responded to the Jones home as a public service and also assisted with a tree that was down across Highway 25.

Part of the Jones' metal roofing was found in Mitch and Teresa Baltz's front yard. The Baltzes also had barn damage, a pump shed was damaged, trees were downed and fencing was damaged, including one section of fence that was destroyed when a feed trough was dropped on it.

"The north half of our barn in the front field was pulled up out of the ground and then set back down next to the holes," Teresa said. "Metal fence posts were bent down to the ground. It came up so fast and was gone within a couple of minutes. My ears felt like they were going to pop because of the pressure."

Loyd and Catherine Richey also had damage at their home in Powhatan, where a hay barn was destroyed and an old dairy barn received roof and structural damage.

Their son and daughter-in-law, Alan and Debbie Richey, who also live at Powhatan, didn't have structural damage, but there were trees down around their home. Alan and their son, Shelby, helped cut trees off Highway 25.

Debbie says she remembers what sounded like a train.

"Then we heard it move across hill and field," she said. "It happened quick!"

County Judge Dale Freeman, who also lives in the area, said there were trees down on Highway 25 from the Lake Charles State Park entrance to Parker Springs Road.

"There was one big tree and several little trees across the highway at one time," he said.

He said there were also several cedar trees down on County Road 262 that leads down to the lake.

In addition, the Office of Emergency Management received a report of trees down in the Alicia and Minturn area, as well as damage to a barn near Minturn.

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