A tornado that whipped through Livingston, Texas, Saturday afternoon caused serious damage at W&W Self Storage, ripping apart a building and leaving several units and their contents drenched by rain. A few local residents shared camera footage of the twister and the wreckage it left behind with media outlets.
Gordon Pyle and a friend were fishing on a pond near his home when they spotted a tornado taking shape along the tree line. Pyle recorded the action on his cell phone. "We started seeing some clouds swirl, then the next thing you know, it was picking up water off the pond and hit the storage buildings,” Pyle said.
The twister hit the facility at 4950 U.S. Highway 190 W. just after 4 p.m., tearing off the building’s roof and walls. Pyle’s video shows debris from the facility swirling inside the tornado above the tree line.
The storage site’s video cameras recorded the intense wind and rain as well as part of the destruction before the power cut out, a source reported. Others passing the property recorded the aftermath, which showed metal strewn about the property and the building’s insulation dangling from nearby power lines.
Following the storm, Brett Foisie, whose family owns the storage property, attempted to salvage what he could from the damaged units. "We've put a lot of money and renovation into this over the last year," he said. The family had just moved back to Texas and also stored their belongings at the facility.
A police officer stood guard outside the property to protect the business as tenants arrived to claim their belongings. Gina Beacher was on her way to work as a police dispatcher when she saw the ruined storage building. The single mother stored furniture and pictures of her children in the unit. "They're wet. It could be worse, though. They could all be gone,” she told a source.
Although the tornado only touched down in Livingston, the surrounding areas were hit with heavy rain, thunder and high winds, a source reported. The storm caused downed trees and minor street flooding, and knocked out the power for nearly 30,000 homes and businesses.