Jesse Schaden and his son, 9 months, view an uprooted tree west of Houston. The giant tree was toppled near West Highway 17.

The sound of chain saws could be heard across Houston on Saturday – the day after high winds caused massive damage.

Residents and contractors were busy hauling tree debris to curbside for pickup by the City of Houston.

Insurance adjusters began the process of assessing damage – much of which was caused by trees falling on structures.

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Updated at 6:06 p.m.: Straight-line winds swept through Texas County on Friday morning causing significant damage and causing power outages at hundreds of homes and businesses in the region.

Destruction is widespread. Summersville, Licking and Houston were hit hard.

In downtown Houston tonight, longtime business owner Wilburn Elmore was watching as workmen replaced a window at his Grand Avenue business. “I’ve never seen so many trees down in my life,” said Elmore, who has lived in the community for more than eight decades.

At Hiett Abstract, tile around the top of the building was tossed into the street. Other businesses sustained damage. A Hardee’s of Houston sign is leaning south. Nearby, a canopy was blown away on commercial property.

Homeowners surveyed damage in their lawns. Trees are down. Power out. Insurance agents’ phones ringing.

Unlike an ice storm that left its mark last year, today’s weather uprooted whole trees. At the historic Leavitt house, the first level of the structure is barely visible because of downed trees.

Throughout the area, damage reports continue to trickle in this evening. West of Cabool accidents were reported along U.S. 60. Damage was significant. Some businesses closed at Licking. Emergency personnel reported an auto business south of Summersville was destroyed.

Earlier: High winds caused massive damage in the Houston area on Friday, downing hundreds of trees and causing structural damage to buildings.

Straight-line winds ripped through the area as tornado sirens were sounding in the city, which was under a tornado warning. Power is out in many locations in the area as trees fell on lines and poles snapped.

It is one of the most damaging storms in recent memory. City personnel are working to clear streets of debris. The Missouri Department of Transportation reports Highway 17 west of the city is now clear of trees.

The scene shows the wind’s force: Some of the town’s oldest trees are uprooted. Structures sustained damage. Homes and businesses are covered with tiny leaves and other debris. An airplane is flipped at the Houston Municipal Airport.

Many businesses are closed.

Damage also is reported across the county. Structural damage is reported south of Summersville, where a business, Allen’s Auto Sale, was destroyed. In the Cabool area, an area near the former Tate Equipment sustained heavy damage.

SLIDE SHOW: Heavy winds slam Houston.

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