Families clean up after recent severe weather in Harris County

By Gianna Caserta, Reporter, gcaserta@click2houston.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:27:47 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 17 2013 07:18:12 PM CDT

Aug. 17, 2013: After the severe weather the Houston area faced on Friday, Saturday was cleanup day for many families. Gianna Caserta reports.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -

After the severe weather the Houston area faced on Friday, Saturday was cleanup day for many families.

In northwest Harris County, one family is cleaning up after a house fire from a downed power line.

The Cooper family will spend the day trying to salvage what is left of their memories after a fire caused by the storm destroyed their home.

"There were really bad storms. Electricity was out here until late last night, so it was dark," said Jeffrey Cooper, the homeowner's son.

Friday night's lightning and strong winds wreaked havoc in some areas as the storm ripped through Harris County. It is being blamed for one house fire on Bo Jack Drive near Waynemer Way.

"There was a tree diagonally, blew over, hit a power line, knocked it down onto the top of the garage and the garage ignited," said Cooper.

Cooper's parents, who have lived here for nearly 40 years, were home at the time. The elderly couple managed to get out of the house safely with the help of their neighbors.

By the time firefighters arrived, the fire had consumed most of the home, sending crews into a "defensive" mode because the fire was so dangerous.

Near Montrose, some downed power lines are said to have started two car fires on Hazard and Indiana streets. Investigators said around 9 p.m. Friday, a blown transformer sent power lines into the street.

Ross Brandon's car was parked close by and was also damaged from the fire.

"The line actually snapped, and it hit the ground, laying on two cars, sparking surging, you could see the electricity surging," said Brandon.

Investigators said those live lines were so intense they actually caused a gas line to rupture, causing a gas leak. It also damaged part of the concrete curb.

Back at Cooper's parents' house, the clean up is just beginning.

"They are here to help assess what else they can do to secure the property, because it is open to the sky at this point, and look around to see what physical things, possessions, can be recovered or saved," said Cooper.

The clean up will continue over the next few days. The family is waiting for the insurance company to arrive to see if the house is salvageable.

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