ETX woman receives citation for tornado debris - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX woman receives citation for tornado debris

May Cope's home in Van Zandt County. (Source: KLTV News Staff) May Cope's home in Van Zandt County. (Source: KLTV News Staff)
Mary Cope. (Source: Go Fund Me) Mary Cope. (Source: Go Fund Me)
VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

After being turned away by assistance programs a Van Zandt County family says, they need help not tickets.

"We had received it through the mail from the fire marshal saying that the place is a public nuisance," says Shana Cope the home owner’s granddaughter.

For over twenty years, 80 year old, Mary Cope’s front yard has been a place for family gatherings now, it's covered with shingles, furniture, and varied debris.

"It's heartbreaking,” says Mary.

On April 29, Mary’s home was destroyed by the deadly tornadoes that passed through the area.

"She was in the house when it happened,” says Shana. “My husband and stepson came and got her through everything, and pulled her out and brought her to safety."

"Everything just got wet,” says Mary “It had just peeled the whole top of my roof nearly back and ruined everything."

The Cope family says, they applied for every assistance program they could find in an attempt to save Grandma Mary’s home but, due to the high cost of the repairs, they were denied.

Without insurance, and unable to afford the repairs on her own Mary’s home has remained frozen in time.

Mary says, the home was everything she had, and it was completely paid off, which allowed her to live comfortably given her fixed income.

The family has been trying to clean up Mary’s property out of pocket but, after receiving the citation from the county, she's desperate to get it done now.

"Whatever’s going on it is not fair,” says Shana. “The people still deserve their homes, especially grandma she lost everything"

Now, Mary faces daily fines of 50-200 dollars if she doesn't get the yard cleared in 30 days. The Cope's are preparing to tear down the beloved family home.

Due to the limited funds available to assistance programs in the county, they say homes seen as beyond repair could not be fully funded.

The family has started a GoFundMe page to help Mary get back on her feet.

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