FRUITVALE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – One year ago Sunday, people living in Van Zandt County were heading for cover after violent tornadoes hit in and near Canton, Texas.
The storm victims took a moment to pause about what has happened in the area since the tornadoes ravaged homes, businesses and much more.
Inside First Baptist Church in Fruitvale, it was standing room only. The church hosted the “Tornado Anniversary Service of Hope” with people inside wiping back tears and reflecting on how far the community has come.
Citizens, county leaders and tornado survivors from Van Zandt County gathered to worship and sing, along with prayers for hope during what is still a rebuilding process.
Four people were killed and more than 50 people were hurt when seven tornadoes swept through the area just east of the Metroplex.
One couple at the service moved into a new home just four weeks ago on the same property where their home was destroyed by the storms.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it’s a wonderful community that pulls for each other,” said Kim Pettiet.
Pettiet said neighbors and perfect strangers worked to rebuild her community.
“The next morning, I looked up and there were men jumping on our roof. They just came with materials, manpower and started nailing,” said Pettiet.
The mayor of Canton said there’s been progress made in the city.
“Most of the houses are rebuilt and people are beginning to move back in,” said Mayor Lou Ann Everett.
No offering was taken at the service as the community looks to collect money for a recovery fund.
If you would like to help the recovery fund, you may send checks to:
The Van Zandt County Long Term Recovery Group
C/O FSB – Ben Wheeler
14269 State Highway 64
Ben Wheeler, Texas 75754