by Emily Waldrep
Tornadoes in Tyler County during a storm on December 21 caused damage to several homes and violently tore off the roof of Harris' Country Market on Highway 92.
An employee was locking up the store when the roof suddenly flew off the building.
"I was at my house on the phone with one of the employees, telling them to lock the door because the lights had gone out," said Linda Harris, owner of Harris' Country Market. "Right when she was locking the door she said, 'Oh, my God, the roof just blew off.'"
There were no other customers in the store, but there was a truck driver in the back of his truck in the parking lot. No one was injured during the tornado, but the store suffered severe damage.
"The roof was across the street, and all the metal and 2x4s were in the highway," Harris said. "It happened so fast. None of us were emotional until we saw each other. The main thing was making sure everyone was okay."
Harris was amazed at the support shown from the community, and wants to say thank you to everyone who has offered their help and support.
"I want to especially thank Jimmy Mercer of the Dam B VFD and his son in law Mario. They were both at the store to help as soon as the tornado tore off the roof," Harris said. "Thanks also go to Ray Simmons, Larry Rodgers and Marc Holcomb, who were on the roof nailing down tarps. I want to thank Jim Gunter; Gerald and Debbie Sarver; Debra Richardson; Dacota Gore; Carole Melstead; Rhonda Holcomb; Carol Rogers; Pam and Chris Willet; Ronny, Shelby, Jamie and Mason Harris; Paul James; Terrance Scott; Ronnie Andros; David Jordan; Stacy Gore; Scott Yosko; Terri Bible; and David Summerling."
Harris says she is extremely thankful for the customers, friends, family members, and even strangers, who called or stopped by to make sure everyone was okay.
The help received at the store is definitely a testament of the kind people and close knit community in Tyler County.