CANTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Charles Schaefer and his wife found just enough room in their hallway closet for both of them to take shelter during Saturday evening’s tornadoes in Van Zandt County.READ MORE: North Texas City's Struggle To Hire Lifeguards For Summer Leads To Pool Closures
“The whole house started shaking,” he said. “In the closet, I could see out the top, so I knew it was really bad.”
Schaefer came out to find the roof and walls gone, and his cars tossed into nearby trees.
Next door, an entire home blew away with his neighbors still inside.
He found the couple who lived there lying on the ground amid the debris and helped get them to an ambulance.
Along another county road, houses were wiped clean off their foundations, and neighbors reported one man had died.READ MORE: Child Tax Credit: How Much Money Will The IRS Send You Each Month?
Kathey Easley was driving the roads and looking for her relatives who hadn’t checked in with family yet.
“Scared. Nervous. Not right. But I gotta do it,” she said.
Kim Wimberly was searching, too, for any neighbors who might need help.
“I didn’t know if we could get a car back here, but I can get him back here,” she said pointing to the horse she was riding.
Shaefer said it never crossed his mind last night he might not survive.
“I just had faith that I would,” he said.MORE NEWS: Gov. Greg Abbott Announces Special Session For Texas Legislature Starts July 8
Today, he’s grateful. “Well, I’m here, so I guess I’m lucky.”