Some parishioners of St. Joseph, Livingston, are still living with the effects of a tornado that blew through Polk County April 22 damaging homes and disrupting their lives.
“We were hoping that we didn’t get blown away,” said parishioner Linda De La Cerda. “It was a scary night.”
De La Cerda who, with her mother Rose Marie Dunlap, was getting ready for supper when she hear the rain coming down, followed by hail.
“We got an emergency notification but we didn’t think much of it,” De La Cerda said. “When we heard the hail, my mom and I ran to the front door and saw items on the porch being blown away. We knew then that it was a tornado. After seeing that, we ran to the middle bedroom until the storm went away.”
After the tornado passed, De La Cerda and Dunlap walked outside their home to an alarming sight.
“An oak tree fell on top of the house, causing some serious damage,” De La Cerda said. “The tornado also picked up the trailer home and shifted it from the concrete block underneath. There were also tree limbs and other debris around the house and on the porch.”
In order to help ensure that their family is safe, De La Cerda’s brothers Mike and Paul Dunlap brought them to Mike’s home in Mont Belvieu later that night.
De La Cerda and Dunlap were not the only ones whose home shook when the tornado blew through Polk County.
“I was shocked when it happened,” Ignatio Nacho said. “You don’t think that this would happen to you.”
Nacho was caught by surprise when the tornado hit. What started off as a normal night with his family quickly turned alarming.
“A tree limb went through our home like a needle,” Nacho said. “It penetrated one of the walls of our trailer home. After that, me, my wife and goddaughter gathered to the laundry room and stayed there until the storm calmed down.”
“Tree limbs and debris were everywhere,” Nacho said.
Both families are still working to repair their homes and their lives. Nacho started the very next day.
“I was able to cut the off the tree limb that penetrated our home and patch up the hole,” Nacho said.
Nacho also helped to clean up debris around his neighborhood.
“It was unexpected but now we are doing fine,” Nacho said.
However, De La Cerda and her mother have taken a little longer to get things back in shape.
Family and friends have helped clean up debris and cut trees around the home. About as of April 28, De La Cerda and Dunlap were still staying in Mont Belvieu and planning the next step toward recovery.
“I want to thank the Lord for protecting me and my mother,” De La Cerda said.
While attending St. Joseph, De La Cerda and Dunlap sing in choir, decorate the altar and help in whatever way they can around the parish. They are also members of the parish’s Catholic Daughters.
Nacho is the Grand Knight in the parish’s Knights of Columbus Council #9564. He is also an usher and works with the diocesan Nueva Evangelization.