Seven twisters struck East Texas in March 2017, killing four people and creating total chaos in the small town of Fruitvale, just north of Canton, TX.
David Harris, a Minuteman Disaster Response team member who spent most of his time in Fruitvale, said the devastation spread throughout the entire county. Some images that resonate in his memory are that of a gutted semi-truck on the side of the road and the sight of vehicles scattered around in awkward positions– tossed by the strong winds.
Fruitvale had a volunteer fire department that was utilizing every resource they had available to them including the trained Minuteman team members who were there to assist.
“We gave the fire department a generator so they could have light and we gave them access to our mobile command trailer ,” Harris said.
The next day, Harris and the other volunteers went house to house with the Red Cross, knocking on doors and making sure everyone was accounted for. His group also assessed damage to see which families had the greatest need, so that the next team of Minuteman volunteers could get right to work with the most vulnerable people.
For the next week Minuteman team members came to the county to assist families in the clean up process.