VAN (CBS 11 NEWS) – Kimberli Shane says two months later, she still thinks about the EF-3 tornado that slammed her house and her neighborhood in Van. “Life has been a daily process, a daily struggle, I wake up every morning, the house reminds me of the tornado.”
She and two of her children holed up inside one of their home’s bathrooms as the twister tore through North Bois D’Arc Street. “During the tornado, you squatted on the floor, you’ve got your arm around your whole family telling them I love you, we’re going to make it, we’re going to make this, knowing inside I didn’t know if we were going to make it.”
Now, there’s no sign of her home or any other on her street. “It’s heart-breaking. You can’t help but stand there in awe.”
In all, 33 homes in this East Texas town were destroyed May 10th. The tornado killed two people. Luckily for the Shane family, they weren’t hurt. But 58 people were. Among them, Arlan “Tex” Wilkinson.
He says he’s feeling a lot better today than two months ago. “You’ll never forget it, as long as you live.”
He was beaten up pretty badly when he was inside his daughter’s house as the tornado hit. “Oh yeah, I had my arm up like this and my eyeballs, no glasses, still hadn’t found them yet.”
Just down the street, his house wasn’t damaged too badly, but after experiencing seven tornados, he’s had enough. “I hope to God I don’t go through another one, because if it does, I’m going someplace else.”
Van Mayor Dean Stone says most of the debris is gone, and now the city is looking ahead to have its streets repaired, an expense FEMA will pay for.
He says Van ISD is in the process of repairing its damaged schools, but that K-6 students will be attending temporary classrooms in the fall.
Mayor Stone though says he believes his town is progressing well because the people never quit.
After the tornado, Kimberli Shane and her family didn’t quit.
She says they will be moving into a larger house starting next week, and they’re ready to put the tornado behind them. “I kind of looked at my whole family and said OK, get up, we’ve got things to do. You didn’t plan my funeral, I didn’t plan your funeral, let’s go, let’s do this.”
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