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Photos Still Unclaimed After Granbury Tornado

Robbie Owens Robbie Owens
Robbie grew up in northeast Texas, in a tiny town where her fami...
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GRANBURY (CBSDFW.COM) – A tornado outbreak ravaged North Texas one year ago. The hardest hit area was Granbury, where a deadly twister ripped through a subdivision and instantly changed lives.

When the debris settled, volunteers worked to salvage whatever photographs and mementos they could find. Those recovered items were put on display at the Hood County Library, and many are still sitting there unclaimed. “These are people’s belongings,” said Courtney Kincaid, director of the library. “It may be all they have.”

Kincaid has become an honorary detective, working to reunite these lost items with their owners. “They don’t need to be in boxes in the library. We need to get them back home,” she said. She is searching like Sherlock Holmes to get the storm-tossed mementos back where they belong, in the hands of those who once cherished them.

“We found a journal of drawings that someone did, and I found a name on it,” Kincaid said. “Was able to track her down and she just picked that journal up last weekend. And she was so ecstatic to have it back.”

The tornado that slammed into Granbury last year killed six people and damaged or destroyed nearly 100 homes. Much was lost. In many cases, only debris remained, and even that was scattered over miles. Neighbors and strangers combed the fields, searching for anything that may have somehow survived.

“It meant that much to us to just find some little something,” recalled Ann Whitehead-Webb, who lost her brother and sister-in-law that day. So, she and her daughter became library regulars, looking for familiar faces in the boxes of belongings. Their efforts are rewarded during each visit, with a treasure trove of memories.

It may seem like old papers and pictures to some but, to a grieving family, these mementos provide comfort. “This is like finding them. Like they are sending us messages saying, ‘Here we are,'” said Whitehead-Webb.

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