Rural tornado recovery helped by friends and family

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Taylor County, Texas (KTAB) – One of the many tornadoes reported in the Big Country over the night hit a rural area south of Merkel. Despite the wide-open spaces, the storm hit several homes with tremendous force. Despite the destruction, the people impacted are staying strong with the help of friends, family, and neighbors.

The landscape is dominated by debris. The pieces of trees, utility poles, and houses are what’s been left behind after the passing of a tornado.

“After getting here and looking on the radar, I think it was probably 100, 200 yards south of here”, said Briley Snowden. “It didn’t take a direct hit, luckily. But it could have been a lot worse.”

Snowden was watching the tornado from around ten miles away, posting the live video to Facebook. It wasn’t until the morning that he came to his sister’s home to see what the tornado actually did.

“I’d seen some pictures she sent me, but this is probably the worst damage I’ve seen in probably four or five years”, said Snowden. “It’s way more real when you see it in person.”

The house was still standing, with some damage, but the area surrounding it was in disarray. By the afternoon, the debris was still there, but so were people, ready to help clear it away. Just next door, a similar scene played out.

Clay and Renee Carey’s home suffered similar abuse. A tree had fallen into the front porch. Windows were shattered. A stick, some three feet long, jutted from the siding, embedded like a spear.

Clay recalled the moments leading up to the storm’s passing: “I was still trying to look out the windows, and about the time it started roaring, I ran to get into the closet. Just about the time I got in the closet, it hit. We could all feel our ears pop. It felt like it was trying to suck our eardrums out. You could feel it go over, and it didn’t last long at all. We came out to find all the damage. “

The Carey’s home was left without power, but it was fully stocked with snacks and supplies, brought by friends, family, and the familiar faces of coworkers.

“If you want to know what friendship looks like, and love, come watch these people who came to help us”, said Renee.

The damage was severe, but at both homes, one spot shines out brighter than the others. Despite the upheaval, and the outright terror, everyone stayed safe through the tornado.

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