Canton church holds service for tornado victims still in need - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Canton church holds service for tornado victims still in need

Martha and Jimmy Strickland and Martha Weatherall share tornado survival stories. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV. Martha and Jimmy Strickland and Martha Weatherall share tornado survival stories. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.
CANTON, TX (KLTV) -

Some Victims of the Van Zandt County tornadoes of April 29 still don’t have repairs completed on their damaged homes.

Sunday at the Crossroads Church in Canton a prayer and praise service was held to help people remember that many victims still need help.

The skies were reminiscent of April 29 as the Crossroads service was about to begin.

About a hundred Van Zandt County residents attended the service in support of the tornado victims. County Judge Don Kirkpatrick says a disaster pulls the people together.

“This community is different than the rest of the country. Where everyone’s protesting this community comes together to support each other, to pray for each other, to lift each other up,” Kirkpatrick said.

The Judge says there’s still a long road ahead to recovery for tornado victims.

“We’ve got out long range plan committee together. They’re passing out funds to individuals who have been affected, assessing the needs and trying to come together where they can,” Kirkpatrick explained.

Some victims lost everything like Kathryn and Jimmy Strickland and Martha Weatherall. They attended the service as well. The Stricklands were home and ran downstairs as the tornado hit.

“And when we walked upstairs there was no roof,” Jimmy recalled.

They lost two houses and three barns to the storm. Insurance paid for the structures, but they have to build a new house.

“Had to combine all of it, and we’re still short,” Jimmy said.

Martha Weatherall lost her RV and a car. She was paid off by insurance but it wasn’t enough to replace the RV. She lives in an apartment now.

“People say the tornadoes are already over with, but it’s not over with for the victims,” Martha said.

She says people struggle when remembering what they lost. She lost pretty much everything but feels fortunate she got out of her RV before the tornado hit.

“I just think about if I had been in it, I don’t think I’d have been here,” Martha said.

They all say there are those who have it worse; who had no insurance.

“There’s a bunch of them that lost a lot more that we did. We saved a few things in the house,’ Jimmy stated.

“There’s still lots of work to be done in Van Zandt County. It’s sad,” Martha said.

They’re making progress, but even months later some are without homes.

The Van Zandt County Volunteer Resource Center is still looking for volunteers skilled in the construction trade to donate their labor and resources. You can call 903-502-0151 if you think you can help.

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