Residents of this small city on the Texas-Louisiana border began trickling back into their neighborhoods Thursday and many found that homes otherwise unscathed by hurricane winds had been crushed by toppled trees.
"A lot of the damage that I saw was mostly from trees falling on houses," said Cpl. James P. Lucia, of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Randy Elkins and his family rode out the storm with relatives in Marshall and came home Thursday to find an uprooted tree had crushed his garage in the community of Orangefield.
"The tree knocked the garage into the house and pushed in the kitchen wall. It is not as bad as we expected," he said.
Paula Bland was another area resident who left before the hurricane hit and returned to find that trees that once shaded her house had fallen on her roof.
"We had a couple of trees on the house and the barn. Working together we got them all off," she said.
While crews struggled to replace toppled utility poles and restring broken power lines, other crews with chain saws began the monumental task of cutting and clearing thousands of downed trees.
The woods around Orange County were smashed by hurricane force winds which knocked over countless trees at their roots while others were snapped at midtrunk.
The acres of drying timber has resulted in the county passing a burn ban, Lucia said.
The unseasonably hot weather has already dried out the ground, which is littered with limbs and tree trunks.