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Residents Recovering after Deadly Tornadoes in East Texas

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CANTON, Texas – The governor’s office declared a State of Disaster for three east Texas counties struck with tornadoes over the weekend.

The National Weather Service confirmed Monday six different tornadoes touched down in east Texas. Four people died and dozens more were injured.

Piles of rubble were the first sign of disaster we saw as our unit drove north through the county.

Resident Linda Lewis was helping her sister, Mary Addison, salvage what she can from her home.

Addison, a 30-year-long Canton resident, admitted she was still processing what happened. She feels thankful that her son, who was home when the twister hit, survived.

“He said he got between the stove and the cabinet and it took everything. And I guess he was just like this, but he said he knew he had to do something,” she explained.

Addison does not have home insurance. She said she’s currently relying on family and faith to get her through.

Ahead of her street lies more destruction. Twisted metal parts show how powerful the storm was.

The tornado ripped through a Dodge dealership tossing around vehicles like toys. The owner said his business suffered $30 million worth of damage.

But for many people it’s not the first time they’ve survived one.

An 82-year-old woman who lives in Van Zandt County said she got out of the area 10 minutes before the storm. She said it was her second time to survive a deadly tornado.

“I have post traumatic syndrome with weather. I will have that the rest of my life. Anytime the weather gets bad I have problems with it,” he said.

Barker said she remembers being tossed around in another tornado back in 2011.

She said most of her belongings weren’t damaged this time around.

Barker said although her home has insurance, she knows coming up with the deductible will be though. She survives on income from her fabric store and alteration service.

“With this disaster here, people are not going to be buying fabric because there’s too much problems here, too much stuff wrong. People won’t be coming in and buying,” she said.

Barker said she has faith her community will come together and help each other build up once again.

The American Red Cross is helping residents with recovery efforts. City officials said they’ll be fundraising to help the community. 

Send donations to:

Van Zandt County Tornado Relief Fund
First State Bank
PO Box 248
Canton, TX 75103

Contact American Red Cross to send donations.

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