Van Zandt County

‘It’s Crazy’: Canton Residents’ Homes Destroyed by Tornadoes

At least three tornadoes tore through three counties Saturday evening

Canton residents who rode out tornadoes that tore through Van Zandt County emerged to find total devastation Saturday night.

"Every last one of us walked away. But we have nothing left down there," Desirae Rasmussen said. Her house is a half-mile down the road.

"We were all sitting in the hallway, and the roof collapsed on us. By the time it was all over, we went outside. We had a three-level house, and we're down to the last level, and half of that roof is gone," she said.

It's a story that played over again and again in Canton.

"It's crazy. It's crazy," said William Melton. "Two-story house, and three-quarters of it is gone."

He and his family huddled in the hallway.

"Sucked the house right off on top of us. The roof and everything collapsed on us," he said. "Me and a buddy of mine shielded the kids with the roof."

Both Rasmussen and Melton say they escaped with their lives, but everything else is gone.

"Two campers, two brand new vehicles, a tractor, and the whole house, barn, and all the animals, gone," said Melton.

Van Zandt County officials asked people to stay away from the area because of the danger from downed power lines and debris scattered throughout the area.

Officials planned a news conference for 9 a.m. Sunday to update the public on relief efforts.

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