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Tornado rips through 2.5 miles of Fayette County

Local church and business bear brunt of damage

LA GRANGE, Texas – A tornado tore through Fayette County Friday morning, devastating parts of La Grange.

Fayette County EMS officials said the tornado touched down in the county around 8:30 a.m. First Baptist Church in La Grange received some of the worst damage.

"You can see these doors, the force of the wind that pulled these doors out of the locks," said Jeremy Conard, the worship leader and contractor for the church.

The church was in the process of building a new location just off of TX-71. The project was supposed to have been completed in July. However, Friday, the terrible winds and debris damaged the new building, scattering wood, debris and insulation and tearing holes in the ceiling. The winds shattered the windows and destroyed the doors. Saturday was supposed to have been the day the church celebrated its progress. The members of the church would have done their first walk-through to see the new progress.

"This is part of a tree sticking through the roof," Conard pointed out to KPRC's Rose-Ann Aragon, showing her the devastation.

"All of these ceilings right here was completed at 2 a.m. (Friday) morning. The guys got home at 2 a.m.," Conard said.

Conard, who spearheaded the building of the new church, said the sight was devastating.

"I pulled out around the tree and into our driveway and my heart just sunk," Conard said.

Officials said the tornado devastated 2.5 miles of land. Across TX-71 is McCourt and Sons Equipment, which suffered major damage. Workers were cleaning up debris Friday.

Despite the devastation, officials said no one was hurt. Church officials said they are thankful.

"Buildings can be replaced. Lives can't," Pastor Justin Lopez said. "Supporting one another through difficult times, being there for one another. That's what the church is all about."