Van Zandt County Tornado Recovery Continues One Month Later

It's been exactly one month since seven tornadoes ripped through several communities in East Texas. Six tornadoes whipped through Van Zandt County alone.

Four people were killed, and dozens of other people were injured. County officials said approximately 49 structures received severe damage.

For many residents, the road to recovery is a long one.

"The house was right here where there's dirt now," said Jeannett McCary, staring at a plot of dirt-covered land.

A pile of debris behind her once held all of her hopes.

"It was a fresh start. I had just lost my husband six months prior," she said.

April 29 was supposed to be moving day.

She had loaded up the last of her belongings in her old home in Canton and was driving toward County Road 2318 when she was caught between twisters sweeping by.

"Look up and there's another tornado," she said.

The tornado hit her mobile home, tossing everything in it hundreds of yards. Her late husband's ashes were missing for a short time.

"My son found him over there on that concrete slab under a wall," she said.

McCary found her propane tank and a few small items.

However, her Siamese cat is still missing.

"It hurts me to even see this, you know. I've lost everything," she said.

She had not signed up for insurance, so recovery is nowhere in sight.

"People are rebuilding," she said. "I don't have nowhere to rebuild."

One sign that the community is getting closer to their normal activities is that the well-known Monday Trade Days will open on Thursday for the first time since the storms hit.

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