Volunteers and Property Owners Sift Through Storm Debris in Henderson County

Volunteers and property owners spent the day Sunday sifting through storm debris at dozens of homes in Henderson County near the town of Eustace.

Teresa Melton said she was thankful to be alive after Saturday’s tornado destroyed her home and her mother’s home beside it.

“You can get discouraged by things like this that happen but it’s just things, it’s just things. The people you love are what’s most important,” she said.

She and her fiancé were watching the storm blow in with her mother on the front porch of her home.

“It was getting severe. We had no power at that point. So we went into the laundry room to take cover. There was just no time to prepare. Things started flying. We started flying and about ten seconds later things settled down and we were all buried in debris, but thankfully ok,” Melton said.

Neighbors arrived to help dig the three people out of that debris. One of the family dogs that was missing was found alive in the debris around 3am Sunday morning.

Teresa Melton’s son Matthew was not home at the time of the storm. He returned to find his home destroyed.

“It was kind of awe shocking what we’re seeing,” said Matthew Melton. “We’re still finding photographs out in the pasture.”

Family and friends helped the Melton’s recover keepsakes from the debris Sunday.

“A lot of my friends are here from school,” Matthew Melton said. “I run cross country and almost every one of them are here. They’re like my second family.”

Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said major property damage extended north to Van Zandt County where problems were even worse.

The Sheriff managed a command post in Eustace.

“The thing that makes me feel really good is the citizens all coming together and the community is coming together. They’re all just trying to help out a neighbor,” Hillhouse said.

Donated supplies were being accepted at the Eustace Volunteer Fire Station on South Holland Street.

Bottled water was especially useful since running water in the town was out of service early Sunday because of a power failure. Generators were on the way to restore power to Eustace water pumps.

Volunteer Tim Rose came from the Collin County town of Wylie with his pickup truck to help deliver supplies.

“I was just thinking the people whose homes were destroyed or damaged won’t want to come into town to pick up supplies, so we thought we’d take it to them,” Rose said.

Teresa Melton said the show of support was very comforting.

“We’ve got tons of awesome people from our friends, our family, our community,” she said. “We’re just very lucky to be alive, very thankful.”

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