PARKER COUNTY, Texas — The sounds of cleanup were already underway in Poolville early Friday.
A storm blew through, taking down trees, sheds and whatever stood in its path.
It knocked down the 120-year-old Poolville Tabernacle, a community gathering place.
The National Weather Service sent a team to survey Poolville’s damage and to determine if a tornado caused it. The NWS confirmed that two EF-1 tornadoes touched down in far northern Parker County.
Both tornadoes had estimated winds of 100 mph. The NWS reported that five people were injured in the tornadoes, two from the first one reported and three in the second one.
“It looked like a tornado ripped through here,” Weatherford firefighter Justin McCauley said. “Trees everywhere.”
He and a crew of Weatherford firefighters that had just gotten off work Friday morning helped clean up storm debris at a colleague’s home.
“We were all in a group message, a text message saying, ‘Hey bring chain saws, bring fuel, bring whatever you can,'” McCauley said. “It’s a family so we come out and we help each other just like any other family members would do.”
Fire Chief Jonathan Peacock came ready for work, too.
“I think that’s in everybody's nature to serve and they have that servants heart, that's what's happening right now,” he said.
At the Oak Tree Bible Church, the storm toppled the steeple.
“It withstood the 80-mile-an-hour winds that we had out here in the last storm. No problem, but this time, I think it was a little bit more than a straight wind,” Pastor Gary Garrett said. “It actually picked the cow manure up across the highway and it's in our yard now.”
He told WFAA it was a miracle the storm didn’t rip off the roof of the building.
“The Lord was looking out for us,” he said.
The pastor said when he arrived at the church about 6:15 a.m., “you couldn’t even pull through the parking for the trees down.”
“We just had a bunch of volunteers show up, as well as church members, and got the cleanup started so we’re ready for church service on Sunday,” he said.
By early Friday afternoon, a mountain of tree debris sat in the church’s parking lot awaiting removal.
Just a week ago, the church had replaced the steeple’s window. They’d put a blue light in that light up at nightfall.
“I don't think the Lord liked that steeple,” he said, chuckling.
Garrett did rescue the cross that stood atop the steeple.
“We'll put that in the front yard now as a memory,” he said.
The pastor vows that they will put up a new steeple along with that cross.