Posted: Apr 3, 2012 4:33 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2012 4:43 PM
MCALLEN - Homeowners in McAllen continue cleaning up after last Thursday's storm. For some of them, the cleanup is a major challenge.
Dora Rivas lives on Whitewing, the heart of the area hit hardest by the storm. Today, with the help of a group of strangers, she's putting her life back together again.
It came like the storm: quickly unexpectedly. A group of volunteers from all over Texas came to McAllen to help clean up after last week's hail storm. They're helping hands to put things together again.
"It's helping her; otherwise, she couldn't do this. We're going to get the mold out of this house for her, and hopefully she'll have a better life afterwards," says volunteer Bob Eaton.
Rivas lives alone. She had a stroke a year ago. All the repair costs are coming out of her pocket because she doesn't have insurance. Rivas remembers the storm vividly.
"My emotions, it scared me. I just want God to take me," says Rivas.
She's glad to have these visitors.
"Right now, they came, they came. ... It's just like God sent them," says Rivas.
And they're glad to be here.
"We're not ready to sit down in a rocking chair yet; none of us are. And some of us have health problems and some don't," says Eaton.
Most of the volunteers from the Texas Baptist men are retired, like Eaton. Eaton joined the group after seeing what they did during Hurricane Ike. He's been to Tuscaloosa after the tornado and the fires in Bastrop County. All the people we met Tuesday afternoon are volunteers donating their time to help others.
"It's wonderful. It feels wonderful 41, and some of these people in my group this time I've never met before yesterday, but they're part of my family because this is a big family," says Eaton.
Eaton says there's no way to put into words the feeling he gets after a trip like this. Eaton tells us the people they are helping signed up to get help. They were then ranking by priority. Eaton says they'll spend the next few day at Rivas' home and leave the Valley later this week.