Scary Drive From East Texas In Tornado Aftermath
Saturday night, my family and I were driving home from my Mom and Dad's house in Terrell, Texas. We had heard that there were tornadoes on the ground near Canton, so we had decided to wait a while before we left for the drive to my daughter's house in Tyler. We left at about 7:00 and headed east, after hearing that the tornadic weather had passed, monitoring the radar on our cell phones all the while.
Tornadoes in this area are pretty common, so we weren't that concerned. We had no idea about the size of the tornadoes that had hit the Canton area, nor the destruction they had caused. When we got close to Canton the radar showed that there was still some very heavy weather in the area, so we decided to go north a few miles to Wills Point and wait it out.
After another 30 minutes we set off again down I-20 only to be alerted by my niece in Wills Point that the Department of Public Safety was shutting down the highway because of a 50-car pileup in Canton.
So we backtracked west to Texas Farm-To-Market Road 47 and went south, skirting the edge of the bad weather. We passed a number of emergency vehicles on the way so we knew that it was bad. We stopped at a McDonald's in Maybank to get something to eat where we ran into some people whose property had just been destroyed by the tornadoes. One farm owner said that he and his wife had watched helplessly as his cattle were sucked up into the storm.
After we ate, we left Maybank and made it safely into Tyler at about 11pm. In hindsight I'll admit we shouldn't have attempted the drive in the first place. The amazing technology at our fingertips is what kept us out of harm's way. With cell phone access to weather radar, we were able to avoid the worst of the severe weather.
Others were not so lucky. Check out the video below to see some of the damage along I-20.
Please keep the people of East Texas in your prayers. There are those mourning the loss of loved ones and digging through the rubble of what is left of their homes.