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Families survive storm’s fury

Families survive storm’s fury
Pieces of a metal roof from a 30-foot by 60-foot barn, along with fallen trees and other debris are scattered around the property on C.R. 338 where Russell and Jonett Story and their son, Rusty, survived what they believe was s tornado Oct. 30 that damaged their home and property, as well as a neighbor’s home.

“Our lives were untouched and spared by the grace of God,” said Jonett Story. “ she, her husband and son, and their next-door neighbors, the Obregon family, are thankful to be alive, after a what they believe to be a tornado ripped through their properties around 6:30 a.m. Oct. 30.

“It was really windy and loud,” said Rachal Obregon. “It was raining and we were just getting up.”

Both families, who live on C.R. 338 off F.M. 539 east of La Vernia, heard the same thing.

“é it was pouring rain and then in a minute you heard the sound that everyone says they hear when a tornado comes, the dreaded freight train,” Jonett said. “and in a matter of a couple minutes, it was over.”

Next door, Rachal said it all happened so fast, they barely had time to think.

“It felt like it was all over in a couple of seconds,” she said. “We hardly had time to think or be afraid.”

They got flashlights and looked around. Both homes suffered little damage. Outside was a different story, however.

The Obregons’ garage was a mess, and mature trees they thought would stand through anything were uprooted. Their son’s playscape was destroyed. Surprisingly, no windows were broken in their home, built by her husband, Juan, and their four vehicles suffered minor damage.

Jonett and her husband, Russell, and their son, Rusty, emerged to survey their situation.

“It was pitch dark so we weren’t sure what was damaged,” Jonett said. With spotlights on, they peered around in the rain and the dark. Looking out the front door, “Rusty noticed that the barn was no longer,” Jonett said. Electricity lines were down in the yard and on the house.

“Right afterward, Russell, next door, called to check if we were OK,” Rachal said.

Friends and neighbors turned out to help both families, who are extremely grateful for the help. Despite the damage to their own place, the Obregons loaned large equipment to help the Storys clean up. And the Bass, Tabor, and Cavazos families, along with Edward Uhlig and Zach Grisham, and Juan’s friends from La Vernia Pump & Supply, turned up to help cut up trees, clear debris, and restore order, working in the rain and remains of the storm.

Adding insult to injury was another 4 inches of rain on Friday night, covering everything once covered by the Story family’s barn and the Obregons’ garage.

“We have the best neighbors,” Jonett said, a sentiment echoed by Rachal.

Jonett’s mobile home, where they’ve lived since 2006, was shifted by the high winds. But the damage was all to things, both families said.

They’re still catching up and cleaning up, Rachal said. But things could have been worse.

“Material things can be replaced,” Jonett said. “But not a life.”

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