Richmond residents assess storm damage following Valentine's Day tornado

- By sunset on Valentine's Day, contractors were out to show love in the Richmond area of Texas after storms and devastating winds tore through Tuesday morning.

"It started sounding like somebody was trying to kick in our front door or something," described Teresa Barger, who was asleep in her home when the emergency alerts rang out. "Of course we knew it was the weather, so I grabbed our two little girls – two and five years old – and ran and hid in the closet until it passed. Whenever we got out we looked outside and saw the damage to our fence and our neighbor's roof over there and said, 'yup I think it was a tornado'."

Barger lives minutes from the Bridlewood Estates subdivision, where The National Weather Service says winds were upwards of 120 mph during the storm.

Like moths to a flame, the resulting damage brought out plenty of professional contracting companies through the day. Lawn signs lined the entrance to nearly every subdivision. Flyers and business cards were taped to doors.

"We appreciate it," said Barger, moments after a contractor approached her offering his card as she spoke to FOX26. "It's good to know there are people out there who are willing to help. But we'll probably do it on her own," she said, referring to the large stretch of fencing on her yard that had collapsed in the storm.

Others are going to need the help.

"Some of these houses are nothing but splinters," exclaimed Clifford Hammack, a nearby resident who had already had to have several large trees chopped down in his yard following the storm.

Hammack says he does not mind losing the trees, but lost too many shingles to not call insurance. "And that to me is the worst part of it is dealing with the insurance folk." Hammock says waiting days for an adjuster is an unwanted frustration.

While insurance claims are an inevitable next step for many in this area, all residents who spoke with FOX 26 expressed gratitude to know no injuries were reported in Richmond as of Tuesday night.

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