by Katie Wilkes, staff contributor, American Red Cross
Ed Dearing was with his wife in the front bedroom of their home in Garland, Texas when he thought he heard sirens. They had moved in just two months earlier.
“I pulled her and the rest of the family into the closet, we didn’t really all fit but did the best we could.” Six seconds later, the tornado struck. “It’s true, it does sound exactly like a freight train.”
With a truck was blocking the front entrance of their home and debris littered everywhere else, it was an hour before they could full emerge from the closet. When they did, the entire bedroom was gone.
Thankfully, the whole family is now safe. Immediately after the storm, extended family came to help with the cleanup. “It’s overwhelming the amount of help we’ve had,” he said. Red Cross workers on the ground supplied them with rakes, shovels, tarps and emotional support in the days immediately following the storms. Multiple times a day, Red Cross trucks also make the rounds delivering hot meals to families continuing to pick up the pieces of their lives.
Despite the emotionally taxing experience, Ed has maintained a positive outlook. He chose a fitting shirt to wear on day six of cleaning up.
“Eh, I suppose we have more natural light now. A few skylights even.”