Neighbors Helping Neighbors With Royse City Devastation
ROYSE CITY (CBSDFW.COM) – Tuesday’s storms spread a path of destruction across North Texas; several businesses and homes near Royse City were destroyed.
Wednesday, in the mist of the devastation, there were stories of miracles and neighbors helping neighbors abound.
In the 300 block of Honey Creek, just off of State Highway 276 in Rockwall County, more than a dozen homes were leveled.
At least three people were injured, but Wednesday as residents looked at the damage many said it’s hard to imagine anyone could’ve survived.
“Everything was just…apocalypse,” tornado survivor Walker Carver told CBS 11 News.
As Carver continued to talk about events over the last 24 hours he choked up thinking about his brush with death. “I’m just real glad to be here,” he said softly.
Carver’s emotions ran high as he recalled getting caught outside his home, where his girlfriend and son had already taken shelter… clinging to each other.
Trapped in the elements, Carver tried to survive by hanging on — literally — to his parked cars.
He said the storm, “Picked that car up and one next to it and slammed it. I saw a house, and then another fly over me and crashed down like a bomb.”
Carver got ruffled up, but was basically uninjured. Meanwhile, the roof of his home had collapsed. His girlfriend managed to free herself, but his adult son was trapped under storm debris for several hours.
There were some 20 people working in the rescue.
“They had to cut through the top [of the house] to get him, get him out,” Carver said.
Storm damage had a big impact on homes and businesses.
Larry Newberry’s Bootleg BBQ opened just last week, but he lost all of his refrigerated food when the storm knocked out power.
Perhaps in the spirit of turning lemons into lemonade, Newberry didn’t let the food go to waste. He cooked it up and gave it away to the newly homeless residents and to emergency responders.
Newberry admitted his first contemplations were personal.
He said he thought, “I need to be selling food today or I’m not going to be able to pay my bills.” Then he considered the situations of others saying, “But, hey, there’s people with greater needs right now.”
And the ‘being neighborly’ bug was apparently contagious. Now, friends from competition barbeque teams are joining in. Some 20 people, with eight pits, are making meals for displaced residents, law enforcement, and utility workers.
Point to a tasty looking combo, one volunteer explained, “This’ll be somebody’s snack when they come by, or we’ll box it up in dinners this evening.”
Of the effort being put forth Bryan McLarty, with operationbbqrelief.org, said, “These guys have been working round-the-clock too. They [workers] see the sign, they see us out here cooking and it kind of gives them a good focal point to go to, to sit down.”
Operationbbqrelief.org is a charity created in the aftermath of the Joplin, Missouri tornado last year. McLarty said the organization spent nine days there and served 75,000 meals.
Food cooked in Royse City will also go to help people in Forney.
Newberry said when his restaurant reopens he and his employees will work in conjunction with operationbbqrelief.org. The plan is to have Newberry selling food to the public while McLarty’s group continues to cook for first responders.
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