AFTER THE STORM: Communities clean up, rebuild following deadly tornadoes

Days after the storm, communities rally to support one another

AFTER THE STORM: Communities clean up, rebuild following deadly tornadoes
Chainsaws and heavy equipment were out Monday in Alto as cleanup efforts continue after tornadoes hit the city. (Arthur Clayborn/KLTV Photojournalist)

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Residents in East Texas are picking up the pieces after deadly tornadoes.

We checked in with KLTV and KTRE staff as they cover cleanup efforts in impacted areas.

Volunteers and residents were out with chainsaws helping clear debris from houses and yards throughout Alto. Both an EF-2 and an EF-3 tornado passed through the community, damaging more than 150 structures.

In the community of Sacul, neighbors helped clear roadways and pack up affected houses. NWS Shreveport confirmed a tornado touched down in the town, entering through the cemetery and moving across Highway 204.

Stories of survival and hope:

The SFA baseball team was out at the Caddo Mounds Historic Site on Monday. They were aiding with the cleanup efforts at Caddo Mounds, which sustained significant damages.

SFA will also host Alto ISD’s upcoming baseball game versus Douglass since the school district’s field were severely damaged in the storms.

Days after the storm, communities rally to support one another

The National Weather Service Shreveport reported an EF-2 and an EF-3 passed through Cherokee County, causing significant damage to the city of Alto and surrounding areas. It is estimated more than 150 structures were damaged while about 25 were destroyed completely.

The EF-3 started in Houston County, causing damage to the Weches community, before moving into Cherokee County. It then moved into Rusk County where it lifted.

Two other tornadoes, EF-2, and EF-1, also reportedly touched down in Houston County, according to NWS Houston office. It was also confirmed an EF-1 touched down near Chireno in Nacogdoches County.

Four storm-related deaths were reported in at least three counties.

WEBXTRA: Houston County storm damage

More Storm Coverage:

Donations and aid

In Alto, a shelter has been set up at The River Church and the Red Cross is providing assistance to residents in need. Contact the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or 1-800-733-2767.

The church is located at 595 S. Marcus St./Highway 69 South.

The East Texas Food Bank in Tyler is collecting donations and disaster relief supplies to send to the Alto Food Pantry.

The Cherokee County Emergency Management has set up an agricultural drop point across from Alto City Hall, where people can donate things such as fencing supplies, barbed wire and other tools. The Angelina County Farm Bureau, located at 2804 Atkinson Drive in Lufkin, is also acting a local drop point.

Donations are being accepted at the Alto Missionary Baptist Church, 107 Elkhart Street in Alto. Donations are also being gathered and accepted at Bullard City Hall.

WEBXTRA: Alto shelter

A Nacogdoches doctor is offering free medical treatment to tornado victims, according to Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson. Some requirements will have to be met before treatment is conducted. People in need of that service should contact Jackson at Alto City Hall. That phone number is (936) 858-4711.

The City of Bullard, Bullard Rotary Club and Bullard Chamber will be gathering and accepting donations at Bullard City Hall. They are asking for donations such as trash bags, hand sanitizer, baby diapers and toilet paper.

Academy Sports and Outdoors on Broadway in Tyler will be accepting donations for victims of the storms in Alto on Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Alto City Hall says any monetary donations can be made at BancorpSouth in Alto. The fund is labeled “Alto Relief Fund” and the number is (936) 858-4416.

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