by Erin Jones | CBS 11

ROWLETT, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Three years ago Wednesday, December 26, a dozen tornados brought tragedy to North Texas.

Thirteen people died and homes and businesses were destroyed.

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“People had just had Christmas, opening gifts and spending time with their family and the next day their lives are taken,” Blake Margolis said. “Their homes were destroyed.”

Margolis said he remembers the day like it was yesterday.

At the time, the current Rowlett City Councilman was running a scanner page on Facebook and was posting updates on a tornado that was barreling towards his house.

“I was in a closet doing updates waiting for the tornado to hit my house,” Margolis said. “Fortunately, it did not hit my house. It had moved off to Lake Ray Hubbard. Hearing the sound of gas leaking and people screaming is something I’ll never forget. It was a long road to recovery for our community.”

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He said what the community went through made them stronger than ever.

“It’s really telling to see and inspiring to see the recovery that our town has made after the tornado,” he said. “That’s the good that came out of this.”

A ceremony planned for Wednesday night had to be cancelled due to severe weather concerns.

The decision by the city came at the request of its Office of Emergency Management.

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People were instead asked to stay home.

Spirit of Rowlett sculpture (CBS 11)