Cherokee County resident recounts sheltering from storm, aftermath

Caddo Neighbor

CADDO MOUNDS, TX (KTRE) - A man who built his home with his own two hands is counting his blessings.

His house sits just yards away from the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site where one person was killed, and more than 20 others were injured. His family sought shelter between the walls of the home — and they all walked away unscathed.

He tells our Hunter Sowards, instead of mourning what he’s lost- he is focusing on what he still has.

“I had a room built right here but they had to get out and go into their other room," said J.L. Skinner.

Hundreds of yards away from the deadly scene of the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site sits whats left of the home of J.L. Skinner’s home - a home he built himself.

“I am thankful that I put it together well enough for it to withstand and that’s what I thought about when I was building it but you can’t beat Mother Nature, Mother Nature will take out anything,” Skinner said.

He wasn’t home when he got the phone call that storms were rolling in but his wife, daughter, and father were all trapped inside.

“They’re good, a little shook up, but that’s it. No scratches, no cuts,” he said.

The foundation of that home was pushed back. Resting in Skinner’s front yard are cars that were tossed like toys.

“Like I say, the Lord will take care of us. And these kind of things can be replaced. It’s going to be hard to start over but we’re going to make it I think,” he said.

Skinner’s horse survived the storm with just a cut to his leg. He’s not sure when the rebuilding efforts will start but he’s thankful his family is safe.

To help the victims of these storms, click here to donate to either the American Red Cross or the East Texas Food Bank. Both agencies are working daily in these storm-impacted areas of East Texas.

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