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Inside of Rowlett, along the frontage road to the Bush Turnpike, sit tons of rubble. Storm debris to some. Complete lives to others.

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What you are hearing is an excavator loading Dick and Fay Stout’s Rowlett home into a hauler.

A clear path of homes reduced to rubble in the days after the storm, now just an empty path as neighborhoods have been cleared. Garland took a direct hit. Rowlett’s city manager Brian Funderburk says they took a bigger hit.

What happened in Rowlett is really a remarkable story of long-time neighbors hanging together. The Stout’s took cover seconds before the storm hit.

Two houses away, Shirley Ragsdale had just finished a day-after-Christmas dinner. She, also, remembers the horrifying sounds as everyone took cover in closets.

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They stepped out of those closets to see open skies and hear the moans of neighbors injured. And salvage 28-years of, what had been, a home.

Shirley Ragsdale’s house can be repaired. She is staying. Her neighbors the Stouts are leaving.

None of them can drive by the piles of storm debris near the Bush Turnpike without thinking how mounds of bricks and wood were once their homes, and so alive.

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