Cherokee County tornado victims continue clean up as Red Cross b - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Cherokee County tornado victims continue clean up as Red Cross begins delivering donations

Source:KTRE Staff Source:KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff

It's been six days since two tornadoes ripped through two communities in Cherokee County, and now a donation drop off site has been set up for those wanting to help.

According to Kathi Davis, the Alto Chamber of Commerce has been set up as a donation drop off site has been set up at the Chamber headquarters located at 187 W. San Antonio Street. Davis said donations have already come in from the East Texas Red Cross office in Tyler as well as the Arbors Nursing Home in Rusk.

Last Friday, an EF-2 tornado damage approximately 27 homes in the Cold Spring area. A separate EF-1 tornado touched down in the Reklaw area and damaged a structure.

For residents in Cold Spring, getting help comes in different ways. Karen Lopez, material help is needed. Right now, seven people are living in her home where there is no electricity. A tree fell through the roof, and power will not been restored until an electrician comes out to the area.

"I am not mad," Lopez said. "They are all busy right now. A lot of people need help. I am just trying to get by. I have a 16-month-old baby. She drinks milk, so I am having to buy milk for her and put it in a cooler with ice to make sure it stays good."

Lopez said she has talked to her neighbors and they are also in need.

"Besides water, [we can use] canned food items," Lopez said. "Stuff that is easy to heat up because some people have gas and some have electric, and then others have nothing."

Down the road, Bob Wallace sat in his truck as a Servpro team brought damaged furniture out of his home that is standing without a roof. Wallace knows insurance will help with his physical needs, so right now he is looking for clean up help.

 "We are very limited on stuff we can collect right now because we are trying un-collect," Wallace said. "It is hard to know what people need. For me it could help in a week or so once my house inside is cleared out for people to come out with chainsaws and help with some of the trees."

Wallace's neighbor Bill Wilton agreed that boots on the ground is the best thing they could use right now.

"You look up and down this street and you wont see a county commissioner," Wilton said. "You wont see anybody that has to do with anything, and you won't see any help. We need chainsaws and operators and things like that. This is a state-maintained road, and we haven't even seen the state come through except for one truck that wanted to fix our mailbox."

With clean up expected to takes weeks, Wallace said you wont see him upset because he knows there are more important things in life.

"We could be dead just as easy as we are alive," Wallace said. "You don't know how blessed I am to be alive."

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