Texas weather: Bell County recovering after tornado touches down in Temple

The community in Bell County is recovering after a tornado touched down in the West Temple area that damaged homes and businesses along the way. 

"We were very fortunate, thank the Lord, because we could have got hurt," Belton resident Richard Westlake said.

On Wednesday night, a massive tree fell on Westlake’s home.

"It wasn’t like a boom kind of thing, but it was kind of close to it, and then it didn’t really have a crash noise to it, it’s like the tree hit the house slowly," Westlake said.

He said it went through the roof and started raining inside his home.

"It was dark, we had no electricity whatsoever, so it was dark," Westlake said.

When the sun came up on Thursday morning, a crew started cutting the tree up and off the roof. A roofing company came in right after to patch it up.

"We’re going through doing free services for everybody so when we get out here, we can get it all patch up for them, so they don’t have any leaks going inside," Performance 1 Roofing Project Manager Charles McCafferty said.

McCafferty said after assessing the damage in the area, they are going to be busy for a while.

"Usually storms like this, we can be slowly working for probably over a year," McCafferty said.


Temple Fire and Rescue said more than 500 homes and businesses were impacted by the storm. 

"From minor roof damage or tree damage to major structural damage," Temple Fire and Rescue Chief Mitch Randles said.

Thursday morning, at least 500,000 customers were without power. Chief Randles said they counted more than 30 injures, all mostly minor.

"Even though property damage was extensive, the most important thing, that being the lives of our neighbors, everyone seems to be good there, thankfully," Mayor of Temple Tim Davis said.

Mayor Davis signed a disaster declaration Wednesday night.

"We have the assets, we have the people in place, we’re a resilient community," Mayor Davis said.