EF-1 tornado rips through SW Houston

HOUSTON – People living at the Azalea Place Apartment complex on Bissonnet had to run, duck and cover after an EF-1 tornado came barreling through Wednesday morning.

"It happened so fast," said Roany Barrera, who lives there.

When the powerful winds and rain whipped through, they damaged carports, roofs and trees. Barrera was cleaning out his car.

"I didn't know what to do," Barrera said. "I got panicked so I stayed in the car and just held onto the car."

Turned out to be a smart move, as his car broke the fall of debris that came crashing down.

Carmen Salinas wasn't as lucky as Barrera. Part of a roof went right through her car and bruised her arm.

Elsi Mednez's ceiling landed on a crib, narrowly missing her baby.

[PHOTOS: Severe storms lash southeast Texas]

"I'm feeling happy that nothing happened to my kids and we can get out fast," Mendez said.

People living on the ground-floor apartments, meanwhile, are drying out their homes from the flooding.

"When the weather service issues a warning, take this seriously," said Tom Johnstone, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

After surveying the damage, Johnstone determined the tornado was an EF-1 on the scale, with 90 mile per hour winds. He also said the width of the tornado was about 50 yards and its length was .27 miles.

All in all, the damage will take days, possibly months, to repair. Despite that, there were no serious injuries to report.

The American Red Cross was on scene to help families who were displaced by the storm damage.