Little did I know when I posted this report that Texas would be hit last night with 13 tornadoes 2 of which were F3 and F4 in Granbury and Cleburne. (As of the 10 PM news report tonight, the count is up to 16 tornadoes but, thank God, still only 6 dead.)
Published on May 16, 2013
Texas Storm Chasers’ Paige Burress filmed this mile-wide wedge tornado as it approached Cleburne, Texas in Johnson County around 9:15 PM on Wednesday, May 15. This tornado was unusual in the fact it suddenly made a sharp turn to the north after moving southeast for much of its life.
GRANBURY, Texas — Officials awaited daybreak to fully assess the scope of the destruction left in the wake of a deadly tornado in Granbury.
Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said he hoped the death toll from the tornado would hold at six, with about 50 people injured and 250 people left homeless.
“It’s in tragedies and events like this you see the good come out in people,” Harmon said.
“We faced tremendous challenges last night but saw great displays of character in our citizens,” Cain said. “Residents coming out this morning to see the destruction in the daylight, they look and then looked with resolve to work together. I’ve already heard countless stories of residents reaching out to share their homes and help each other.”
Fire trucks and police cars staged out of H-E-B Grocery’s parking lot overnight were coming and going as they responded to calls. Officials from Salvation Army Disaster Services out of Dallas arrived with food and other supplies as did an American Red Cross truck. Members of the Johnson County Emergency Support Services also set up in H-E-B’s parking lot to assist rescue workers and victims.
Keil considers herself lucky all the same. She and her husband were picking their daughter and granddaughter up at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport when the tornado hit their home. …“It’s only stuff,” Keil said looking at her granddaughter. “We didn’t lose any precious items. I’m glad to still have them.”
Larry Foretich surveyed the neighborhood’s homes, laid out in a checkerboard pattern, almost all of which sustained major damage.
“I’m still numb really,” Foretich said. “I feel fortunate. We had some roof damage mainly some shingles and broken limbs. Just feel bad for everyone else.”
Lisa Montgomery was one of those who lost nearly everything. But there was a sign of hope: the crosses hanging in her living room remained in place. The crosses on her back porch were still there. So were the ones in the bathroom, and over the doorways. “I thought we just had some busted windows,” she said. “The only things that were left on the wall was my wall of crosses. None of the crosses came down. And then in my bedroom, I have some signs on my walls and all of them were turned around backwards except the one that says ‘faith.’ Everything else was gone.”
These are the type of experiences that build character and shows the good side of mankind. Contrary to stories we hear in disasters of this type, the police secured the property of vacant homes and the spirit of community service came through beyond measure.
For more information and stories, see Facebook.com/ctrnews.
THIS IS THE ORIGINAL STORY WRITTEN A DAY OR TWO AGO, BEFORE THE TORNADOES THAT HIT LAST NIGHT IN TEXAS. THEIR STORIES SHOW HOW PEOPLE COME TOGETHER IN TIMES OF NEED TO HELP EACH OTHER. IT IS HEART-WARMING TO ME.
Although this story is told in 2011 by a survivor of one of the tornado outbreaks, it is a heart-warming tale that exemplifies how Americans pull together to help each other in a crisis.
Considering all the terrible things we hear and see in the news these days, along with stories of people suffering from hurricanes and tornadoes, I cannot help but think sharing this wonderful story can help give people courage and faith that things will be okay.
It was more like the sky crashed down on us because from where I was, I saw it and didn’t even know what it was as I thought it was just a low hanging cloud bank above the tree line. Most of us in my family and friends made it through ok but as you heard, a lot of people didn’t . We’re still discovering dead people and losing people gravely injured in hospitals so that the sadness continues but there are a lot of stories after the storm revealing how we came together and a lot of stories of courage.
We’re hanging in there. You would never know from where I live that anything was different and yet if you go just up the road past the treeline… it’s pure devastation. The crews are out now getting rid of all the downed trees and such that we cut up to get out of the way, insurance companies are writing checks and the people came closer together. It will take years to rebuild but we seem determined to do it and they’ve already begin up here in Phil Campbell where I live.
We haven’t had a lot of fraud or looting but then, word rang out if anyones looting you have a right to use your gun to defend yourself so looters were less likely to be out lol… most don’t even own guns here but the fear that those who do would likely shoot you kept much of it civil.
Hopefully everyone is [okay]. You would not believe how we have pulled together with the Red Cross and Salvation Army on their feet minutes after the tornadoes hit… FEMA we haven’t seen so I guess they must be focusing on the bigger cities if they’re active yet. Rednecks get a lot of flack but I tell you Kino, every one of our roads were filled with them every day running up and down the highway loaded with almost everything you can imagine. Many here took in people and the Red Cross / Salvation Army are boarding people in every hotel and motel around.
My gas company forgave my bill and told me to help others with the money. I bought $275.00 worth of stuff, brought them a receipt (my bill was $135 lol) and asked them who did they know of who needed help so they gave me five names. One of these was a black family who lived near a river and when I arrived, it looked like the entire neighborhood was there with their chainsaws clearing things away. They brought two campers over for them to live in and when I told her to come grab some goodies, she was actually crying. She told me she didn’t expect any help at all because she never spoke with any of her neighbors nor they with her but they told her they rarely talked with one another either and after thinking about it she couldn’t recall any of them ever doing anything together and was just overwhelmed because she thought they were ignoring them because they were black when they were just being un neighborly to one another in the whole neighborhood instead of her. I gave her $50.00 and gave her kids a box of chocolate covered cherry ice cream bars which got them dancing around because no one had brought them any candy yet.
It was really a good feeling to see this and maybe it was a sign to that community they need to open their doors and start communicating with one another as it took a storm to get them all out there together. Her house wasn’t hit by a tornado, it was wind sheer that literally ripped her house apart and threw it into the river except the small bathroom that they ran into and which collapsed around them saving their lives.
I’m disappointed in FEMA though and can only hope they are targeting the big towns and cities because we had to help one another here and we’re very grateful for all the help from out of state coming from individual Americans. Most places here are taking in items and I’m being told some “rednecks” (lol, we’re calling everyone rednecks driving up in pickup trucks or whatever) were coming in from outside the state to places like Florence Alabama dropping off refrigerators, stoves, gas grills, food, clothes… one guy drove there from Albany New York I was told with a horse trailer full of contributions from locals there and even had things strapped to the top of his pickup he was so loaded down… that qualifies him as a redneck in my book (in the good sort of way like Dukes of Hazard lol).
So the heart of America is revealing it’s there even in these hard times and after Katrina, I think millions of Americans aren’t waiting for the federal government to act and having these power crews from everywhere really was heart warming even with the issue we had here the first day with the Wisconsin crew as the next day they did stay longer because a lot of calls went to a lot of powerful people to make sure that didn’t happen again as I think they were trying but were following some sort of union rules they didn’t know applied or not under the circumstances.
It’s just overwhelming to know I saw this massive thing and didn’t even realize what it was as it was just so enormous that over the tree line it just looked like a low hanging cloud bank. Had it hit here just a quarter of a mile away, there would have been much greater loss of life as this is a much more densely populated area. Now we hear Mississippi’s hard hit areas are about to get it even worse because all the rain up north is causing flooding and they’re going to have to release all that water into areas hit by tornadoes there. While not hit as bad as Alabama, a lot of people are forgetting this hit everywhere in the South almost but just seemed to explode across our state.
You should see how people are helping one another here as when the main roads were closed, they came through the back roads like in front of my house and it was an endless stream of people moving from place to place carrying things to the needy, going to help with cleanup and even stores emptying out everything when their power went out sending it to those in need instead of letting it ruin… their insurance companies gave them permission and wrote off the losses. I think we saw where America is and I only hope people pulling together don’t forget this later when the self interests start pulling us apart again.
I appreciate the point made at the end that challenges Americans: he said, “I think we saw where America is and I only hope people pulling together don’t forget this later when the self-interests start pulling us apart again.”