Victims Of Tornado Look To Start Over - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/8/03 - Tatum

Victims Of Tornado Look To Start Over

The Red Cross now confirms more than 70 homes were damaged in Sunday's tornado in Rusk County. In the Tatum area 19 of those homes were destroyed.  Most of those homes were located off farm to market road 2187 just north of Tatum.

Lydia Guijarro's day started meeting with the Red Cross.  Lydia, like many of her neighbors who lost everything in Sunday's tornado, has no insurance. Gilberto has no idea what he and his family will do now.  "I don't know. We're just going to have to pull the trailer out and guess try and get another one," says Gilberto Suarez.  After meeting with the Red Cross Lydia returned to her home. The home was blown off it's foundation.  "They did say that our house was major damage. They have suggested we find somewhere else and I told them we don't have insurance. We have to stay," says Lydia.  Lydia has no family to stay with while she waits to rebuild.

But help did come.  A local house moving company was in the neighborhood helping victims free of charge.  A small trailer behind their home was used for storage.   "Well it's a start I guess. Lots of work to do that's for sure," says Lydia.

  Lydia and her family have lived in their home for the last twelve years.  Now she's been told she needs to leave.  "Our home isn't really that good anymore but we've lived here so long and all our memories are here and everything and it's hard to believe that we're losing it all."

For Lydia and her neighbors they simply hope that one day they can afford to rebuild their homes.  FEMA is expected to be in the area sometime this week to offer their assistance to the victims.  But the Red Cross says they are having trouble locating everyone affected by the tornado.

If your home received any damage from Sunday's storms call the Red Cross at 903-753-2091.

Amy Tatum reporting.

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