Houses and businesses in WF hit hard from strong winds

A roof was pealed half way off at a business on Old Jacksboro & East Scott in Wichita Falls. (Source: KAUZ)
A roof was pealed half way off at a business on Old Jacksboro & East Scott in Wichita Falls. (Source: KAUZ)
Deli Planet had to close from 10:30 am to 5 pm due to a lightning strike knocking out half of the building's power. (Source: KAUZ)
Deli Planet had to close from 10:30 am to 5 pm due to a lightning strike knocking out half of the building's power. (Source: KAUZ)

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Wichita Falls saw plenty of rain Thursday night, followed by strong winds.

The rain was good for the area, but the storms did wreak a little havoc.

While you could see damage to tree limbs and branches, some of the most noticeable damage was to buildings.

One of the hardest hit spots was a home on Scott Avenue that had nearly its entire roof ripped off.

It was the home of former Wichita Falls firefighter and current city councilor Bobby Whiteley.

He said the roof was ripped off around 1 a.m. and he and his family started covering up with mattresses because they thought it was a tornado.

It wasn't the only hard-hit building. Deli Planet had to close their doors after damage from a lightning strike.

"We're closed today," Owner Rebecca Rutledge said. "So if you want your Deli Planet fix, you're not going to get it.

The lightning strike caused the air conditioning and Vent-A-Hood, which sucks out the exhaust, to not work.

"We're in the line to get fixed and hopefully we can open soon," Rutledge said. "We really don't want to be down. It's hard for us, especially since we're family owned and operated. So we need to be open and running."

All this damage will have to be fixed and Wichita Falls Better Business Bureau President Monica Horton wants people to be smart.

She said first things first. Do not pay a contractor before they complete the work.

"A lot of times the scams that we see and hear about are from consumers who have paid for work that was never done or ever completed or finished," Horton said.

If you know you'll need a contractor get at least three estimates from three different companies.

"Get those estimates in writing so they can't turn around and increase the price on you later," Horton said. "And ask those contractors for references."

Finally, be on the lookout for what the BBB calls "Storm Chasers".

Those are contractors going door-to-door trying to get people to sign contracts for work. Tell them no.

In the meantime, people like Bobby Whiteley and Rebecca Rutledge will work to get their homes and businesses fixed and back to normal.

"We're going to be patient and we want to make sure the community is very well taken care of before us," Rutledge said.

Deli Plant was able to open back up Friday at 5 p.m. after Oncor fixed the problem.

Whitely said, fortunately, it had stopped raining once the roof was ripped off so there is no damage to the inside.

He's found a contractor to get a new roof on in three to four days, but said he has some hurdles with the city to get through that will make that time frame a little bit longer.

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