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NWS: Straight line winds cause Orange County storm damage, EF-0 tornado touched down in Hardin County

NWS Meteorologist Doug Cramer confirms tornado damage was found just to the south west of Lumberton at Rock Creek Ridge Drive and Highway 421.

ORANGE, Texas — The National Weather Service confirmed Thursday that Monday storm damage in Orange County was a result of straight line winds and damage in Hardin County was due to a EF-0 tornado.

Meteorologist Doug Cramer, of the National Weather Service office in Lake Charles was in Southeast Texas surveying damage Thursday. 

He says that 85 mph straight line winds and not a tornado are what left the damage in Orange County.

Often with high winds during a thunderstorm people think tornadoes, but, during most years, straight line winds from thunderstorms trigger far more damage reports than tornadoes according to the NWS website.

Straight line winds are thunderstorm winds without any rotation according to the weather service.

Cramer says he is in constant communication with his team in Lake Charles when he's out surveying damage. 

"They have the radar data pulled up of archived data, so we are correlating when the storm hits each damage point," Cramer said.

A combination of social media posts and talking with emergency management directors is what helps the NWS team find what areas were hit the most. 

"The emergency management director, especially here in Hardin County Aaron Tupper gave us really good information and locations to look at the concentrated damage. Look at social media, and see if we can find any pictures of interest on social media, then we also look at radar data," Cramer said. 

Cramer confirms tornado damage was found just to the south west of Lumberton at Rock Creek Ridge Drive and Highway 421.

The tornado started on Highway 326.  

"It roughly and in intermittent fashion it touched down. All the way through highway 421," Cramer said.

This tornado had a course of six miles. 

A common cause of damage from a thunderstorm are downbursts"  that can reach over 100 mph and are caused by air being dragged down by the rain.

The air reaches the ground and spreads out across the land in a straight line according to the website. 

Residents are encouraged to document damages to homes and properties from the most recent storm by taking photos and videos to provide when submitting insurance claims.

Those who receive SNAP benefits and have had food destroyed due to power outages are eligible to complete Form H1855 to assist in the replacement of food for that household.

RELATED: Business owners in Pinehurst react after their properties were impacted by severe storms Monday

Two businesses in Pinehurst felt the impacts of those winds.

Owner of Hair & CO. Ramona Walker is struggling with the aftermath of storms. 

For the last 15 years, she's been servicing the Pinehurst area, but on Tuesday, she spent the day ripping out the floors to dry out the inner parts of her salon that was damaged. 

"My heart is divided between my home and my kids and my business," Walker said. 

The salon was in service during Monday's storms. Walker says two employees were inside with their clients. 

"They were very quick thinking, they took cover quick. They ran to the restroom to take cover, and they were fine. Thank God they were here because we were able to get eyes on the situation," Walker said. 

Water was dripping inside on the equipment and their roof was blown off and partially across the street. 

"We just want to dry out the salon, and many girls are getting temporary jobs because they need to work. This is our income," Walker said. 

And across the street, Nan's Floral & Wedding Designs says they weathered out the storm 

"Three seconds later, across the street we could see the tail of the tornado coming. I saw a sign being ripped out then I turned it this way and I saw the stop lights turning," said Co-owner Georgia Hopson. 

While the shop didn't sustain damage, they are still without power. Hopson is worried about the shop's fresh flowers.

"It's Mother's Day weekend. We have several thousand of flowers coming in. We are like where are we going to put all these flowers," Hopson said.

Nan's Floral shop is open to sell arrangements through Mother's Day and Hair & CO. is continuing to work on fixing the interior of their salon to hopefully reopen their doors soon.

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