TOMBALL, Texas – A woman was killed and two people injured after a tornado touched down early Wednesday morning in the Tomball area.
Deputies said calls began coming in just before 5 a.m. about falling trees along the 8300 block of Willow Path. Emergency crews arrived and found several trees had damaged homes.
The National Weather Service Wednesday afternoon classified the tornado as an EF-0, the lowest tornado rating, with winds between 65-85 mph.
According to investigators, one of those homes is the residence of 62-year-old Bonnie Elizabeth Fleishman, who died after the tree fell onto her home, causing the roof to collapse. Fleishman lived alone, deputies said. Firefighters were unable to remove her body Wednesday due to all the downed trees around the house in the 23000 block of Willow Way.
Neighbors said Fleishman was a veteran who had only moved there recently.
"We tried to check on her this morning. She didn't answer. Couldn't get the door open. It's just sad," neighbor Kathy Thorn said.
Fleishman's home, like so many here, was covered with fallen trees and investigators from the Harris County Sheriff's Office and the medical examiner had to cut their way into the home before they could go in and remove her.
"She literally just moved in six months ago and she lives by herself so my parents were helping her move in her stuff," neighbor Dorian Hernandez said. "We were all pitching in and to hear that she passed away is just horrible."
Officials said another person sprained an ankle trying to help his family escape their home as trees fell. A firefighter also suffered minor injuries when he was hit in the face by shards of glass.
The cleanup started fast. People quickly went to work. Neighbors helped neighbors. Few here escaped untouched.
Residents used chainsaws to cut up the giant pines just as those trees sliced through lots of homes here. Some measured as tall as about 75 feet.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office is investigating the woman's death.