The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office damaged or destroyed 25 to 50 homes and businesses when an EF-2 tornado touched down Monday night.
Several homes along Johnson Road south of the Waxahachie city limits cause total damage. Patrick Kopman, who finished building his dream home in Ellis County two years ago, was one of the victims after Mother Nature took less than 30 seconds to destroy her home.
“You’re watching TV and you don’t think it’s going to happen to you and you’re like, it’s not going to hit us. It’s not going to hit us. And boom, there it is,” said Kopman.
As the winds blew on Monday night, Kopman and his wife, Tony, called their daughter down from their bedroom on the second floor with spare time for seconds.
Walls flew from the bedroom.
“We crawled under the ladder and jumped down,” he said. “It lasted for about 20 seconds. But it was scary. “
Kopman described the frightening sound of a ‘stampede of horses’ on his roof.
The damage is widespread along Highway 77 on the east side of I-35E.
“I had a boat. It is now in five million pieces, ”said Kopman, pointing to the field next to his house. “Pieces there. Pieces there, 500 yards like that. It was crazy.”
A two-four pierced through the family camper.
His son was working at the family’s pizza restaurant in Midlothian and went home.
Neighbors spent the day helping each other pick up debris and pieces of metal that wrapped around trees and fence lines.
Resident Manuel Walls said he lay on the floor of a back bedroom and although the winds were very strong, he never feared for his life.
Even through the devastation, these Ellis County residents are keeping a positive outlook.
“My neighbors are calling me. I am calling them and no one is hurt here and this is the silver lining.
They will rebuild as Koopman belongs.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said laughing. “Couldn’t pay me to go somewhere.”