County Crews Assessing Damage following Storms in East Texas
CANTON – East Texas residents are beginning the cleanup process after several tornadoes touched down over the weekend.
It is unclear how many families were affected by the weekend storms. County crews are trying to get an approximate cost of damage to see whether they will qualify for FEMA relief.
They’re also working to get power back up in spots where powerlines are down.
Meanwhile, many families are waiting to start rebuilding because they have to wait for insurance adjusters to assess the damage.
Melody St. Clair was at home with her 2- and 3-year-old great grandchildren and four other adults when an EF3 tornado blew through Saturday evening.
She said they all huddled together in the hallway while the storm ripped the second story off her house and tossed around their vehicles.
“It ruined my truck. It ruined my grandson’s new Fusion he got. The travel trailer it ruined. Barns, it took all the barns. It just – it took everything,” she said.
St. Clair considers herself lucky to be alive and lucky she has home insurance.
She said she’s thankful for all the volunteers who helped her and her neighbors dig their way out of the rubble.
Four people were killed and dozens more were injured during the storms.
Canton Mayor Lou Anne Everett said the last few days have been exhausting for everyone in the surrounding community.
“We really need money right now. That’s going to be the biggest need for these people whenever they go to rebuild, particularly those who are uninsured,” she said. “Now, we’re into the dirty work of cleaning up and all that. So, we are just very thankful that it could have been a whole lot worse.”
Everett and St. Claire are grateful for all the helping hands from friends and strangers during the disaster.
“You hear a lot of bad people, but there are good people in the world because there’s been all kinds of people out here helping us,” St. Clair said.
The Red Cross and Salvation Army are currently assisting families. They’ll be in the area until they’re no longer needed.