Many Southeast Texans experienced a stormy Christmas Day, and some Vidorians might have even witnessed a tornado.
The National Weather Service in Lake Charles issued a wind advisory and hazardous outlook Dec. 25, 2012, lasting from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Newton, Jasper and Tyler counties. NWS also issued a tornado watch until 6 p.m. for these same counties, and many in Vidor believe they experienced a tornado, especially those in the area surrounding Baskins Western & Work Wear, located at 850 Main St. in Vidor.
“We cannot cite a tornado, but the damage that was done was an example of what a tornado could cause,” said Barbara Aldridge, district secretary for Orange County Emergency Services District No. 1. “Trees were down, trees were on houses, electrical lines were down, and we lost roofs on businesses and an apartment complex. It happened in certain areas. That represents a tornado touching down.”
Baskins western wear store received damage from the Christmas Day storm, according to Dave Pritchett, vice president and director of stores at Baskins.
“We believe it was a tornado,” Pritchett said. “I don’t know if it was a customer or an employee (of another store), but somebody took a picture from one of the spaces down from us of what appears to be a tornado.”
Pritchett said that the company is unsure of the cost of the damages and that Baskins rents the property from Weingarten Realty.
“All in all we were pretty lucky. None of our product or assets was damaged,” he said. “There was some water damage at the entrance of the store where the front façade broke. There was some tile and floor damage, minor damage to the heating and cooling unit and some wind damage to the roof, but no structural damage.”
There were no employees in the store at the time the damage occurred, according to Pritchett. Pritchett said that in the event of inclement weather, Baskins has a safety plan for employees to follow.