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NWS: Straight-line winds upwards of 90 MPH caused damage across East Texas

MARION COUNTY, Texas (KETK) - The National Weather Service says straight-line winds upwards of 90 miles per hour caused significant damage across East Texas Sunday morning.

According to the survey team in the Marion County area near Lake O' the Pines, the damage was not caused by a tornado.

Straight-line wind is a term used to define any thunderstorm wind that is not associated with rotation, and is used mainly to differentiate from tornadic winds, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory.


According to law enforcement officials, damage has been reported in the following areas:

1) Upshur County - Highway 154 between the Harmony Fire Department and Arrowwood: Trees down

2) Upshur County - Farm-to-Market Road 1795 cutoff before Farm-to-Market Road 49: Trees down

3) Upshur County - Three Lakes Circle, west of Harmony: Trees down

4) Harrison County - Island View community: Trees and power lines down

6) Harrison County - Farm-to-Market Road 1968, near Harrison/Marion County line: Trees down

7) Marion County - Farm-to-Market Road 726, just southeast of Lake o' the Pines: Trees down

8) Gregg County - Longview: Tree down on mobile home located at 104 West Fairlane Drive (Resulted in fatality)


So far, two fatalities have been confirmed in relation to the storms.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office says one person was killed during the overnight storms. 

Officials say a 40-year-old woman identified as Mary Pinney, of Mont Belvieu, was killed at the Brushy Creek Campground on the southeast tip of Lake o' the Pines in Jefferson.

Officials say she was struck and killed by a large, wind-blown tree that fell on the tent that she and her family were camping in.

Pinney’s husband was seriously injured and taken to a local hospital. The couple's three children were not injured.

Previous media reports from other outlets reported four fatalities at the campsite. However, officials tell KETK that number is incorrect.

The campground manager tells KETK there are currently 66 campsites set up at Brushy Creek. Officials are closing down the park and will issue refunds to campers. 

The second death was out of Longview after police say a tree fell on a mobile home killing an adult male occupant.

Family at the scene tells KETK the deceased is Angel Rocha, 41, of Henderson.

Relatives say he had been living in the mobile home, located at 104 West Fairlane Drive in Longview, for the past four to five months.

The Longview Fire Department responded to the scene, around 4:30 a.m., and contacted police when they found the man deceased inside the home, around 5:15 a.m.

A 12-year-old was also inside the residence and was taken to a local hospital for observation.

No other injuries were reported.


The NWS has also issued a lake wind advisory for the area. Strong northerly winds are expected from 15 to 20 miles per hour. They will occur behind a cold front with higher wind gusts between 25 and 30 miles per hour at times. The high winds will cause rough choppiness on area lakes, creating hazardous boating conditions.

The advisory is scheduled to expire at 7PM, Sunday.

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