Houston weather: Tornado hit Cypress leaving neighborhood severely damaged

A tornado was confirmed to have touched down in a neighborhood in Cypress, causing severe, widespread damage.

Many of the homes in the Harbor Gates at the Heritage subdivision were left with mangled fences, and splintered and downed trees, and the tornado that tore through here ripped not only shingles off but entire sections of rooftops right off of homes.

"We were outside working on our patio. All of a sudden it got really dark and still, so we moved inside, fortunately, at the last minute, and then it sounded like a freight train," explains resident Andy Coulter.

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"There was water coming in through this fan. Most of the fans had water dripping down," says Marvin Stahl, whose home suffered severe damage. 

"Along a couple mile path here we had a tornado move through this neighborhood. We're rating it an EF1, 110 miles per hour winds based on the damage done to the roofs and the well-built structures in the neighborhood," says Meteorologist Dan Reilly with the National Weather Service.

"We were right here. There were four of us. We had friends over. The last three of us were going out this way and my wife, she was the first, said get on the floor, and we just dove on the floor right there and there was a boom. A big piece of wood, of fence, came flying through this window," says Stahl.

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So, what is some of the damage in the neighborhood indicating there was a tornado? "We have a survey tool and basically, if it's a single-family home well-built, we look at, how is the roof holding up? How much of it is damaged? Are there broken windows? In this case, we have both significant roof damage and broken windows," Reilly explains.

"The wind crumpled our garage door. It was closed but when the wind crumpled it, strong wind started blowing through our house. It forced this door open. The handle punched a hole in the drywall here and the door was ripped from the frame. The wind then took this second door completely off the hinges," says Stahl.


"It's a good close community here. I feel helpless that I can't help. (I see it's very emotional for you.) Well, yeah. I'm an emotional guy. I don't like it. Sorry about the emotion. I'm not going to tell anybody I'm going to be on FOX 26," Stahl laughs.

Many of the residents here say they are sad to see their homes hit hard by the storm but grateful to have survived.