By Morgan Thomas - email
GENEVA, TX (KTRE) - A family's weekend and summer getaway in Sabine County was destroyed in seconds.
"It happened very quickly," Jeff Montgomery said. "There was no warning at all. And it just targeted this 4 about acres of land here."
The tornado touched down around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The family's reaction says it all.
"It's just utter devastation," Montgomery said.
"We were just in awe of what could happen, what a tornado can do," homeowner Mark Sandidge said.
Timing is everything. Just days before, 15 family members spent a long weekend at the farmhouse.
"We were all here until late Monday night," Sandidge said. "Two days later, here we go. We're very fortunate no was in the house at the time."
This morning, family and friends took stock of what was left.
"Well, we had a lot of memorabilia in the house," Sandidge said. "Things from my grandmother and my wife's grandmother. Our kids' stuff of when they were growing up. And we just want to salvage what we can."
Since the early 1800s generations of this family have enjoyed this land. The tornado took down a treasured tree planted by a Confederate soldier.
"As I understand it's the oldest pecan tree in Sabine," Montgomery said.
The family couldn't get into the home this morning before making these steps. The original ones are over there with the front porch where the house was before the tornado.
"It moved the entire house 20 feet back," Sandidge said.
As the family picked through the tornado's destruction, their amazement grew.
"You go inside and its just amazing the things that are destroyed and other little glass items are sitting exactly where they were," Sandidge said.
They're inspired by a message left behind.
"Rather ironic some of the things left on the wall," Montgomery said. "Two of them were crosses."
"It's just uplifting," Sandidge said. "God was here with us and looking after us."