Storm traps lake-goers inside boathouse

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

DENISON, TEXAS -- We saw some severe storms across Texoma last night.

Grandpappy Point Marina in Denison was hit hard by that weather, trapping three lake-goers inside a boathouse.

Johnny Palya's boat is now an ironic reminder of a horrific night.

His boat, named "Still A Float" helped him and his two friends survive a terrifying storm.

"We were expecting some storms because we were told they were coming in, but it just kept progressively getting worse and worse and worse and, at some point, as they say, all hell broke loose," Palya said.

Aldean Carter was at Johnny's boathouse, reading and relaxing, when she felt the lake begin to rush like a river.

"We were like monkeys, crawling all over everything, trying to save the boats and trying to save the property and as everything is flying through the air, we're just holding on for dear life," Carter said.

"It threw us backwards and while it was doing that, the wind was throwing chairs at us. One just barely missed me by the head," Kent Neal said.

The friends say what felt like four hours was probably just a matter of minutes.

Even when the brunt of the storm was over, they still were held captive inside the boathouse.

The building's steel legs were uprooted, the walkway through the front door, electrical wires in the water.

"Getting off the boathouse wasn't an option. There was no option for us. We had to just sit there," Palya said.

When the wind died down, marina managers came and pulled them from the boathouse.

Today, they say they're thankful that the three of them, and the boat, are unscathed.

"I would have to say that it makes me much more grateful today and probably should have been in church this morning," Carter said.

"We are fortunate," Palya said.

Repairmen working on the marina today say it'll be months before Boathouse 16 is fully repaired.

Multiple boats were damaged in the storm.

Most counties we've talked to say they haven't seen major storm damage.


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