Shock settles in as family works to recover from tornado

By Thomas Garcia

With the shock finally settling in Angie Chavez and her family of Logan are still cleaning up the mess left by Friday’s tornado.

“I have been crying over a lot of things today,” said Chavez. “I knew what had happened, but the reality of it did not hit me until today. It was so awful and over so fast, but what it did I’ll never forget.”

Chavez lives at 65 State Road 552, about a mile southeast of Highway 54, and on the south side of Canadian River bridge.

Chavez recalled the terrifying day’s events.

“I was on the computer when I heard a large crash and a howling of wind,” said Chavez. “My grandson, Raymond, and boyfriend, Chris, were watching a movie when I came into the living room and suddenly the whole trailer started to shake. Chris got me and my grandson to the middle of the house and in a matter of seconds the noise was gone.”

Raymond Castro recalled a similar scenario.

“I heard a whoosh of wind and the entire trailer started to shake,” he said. “I did not hear any breaking or crushing and it all ended as quick as it had started.”
When it became calm, Chavez and her family looked out the windows and they said they were shocked.

“The semi trailer by my house, that was filled with 20 years of collected Christmas ornaments and ceramics, was turned over by the tornado and was dropped on top of one of my cars,” said Chavez.

“I could not get outside through the front door because my porch roof had been ripped off and everything had been tossed in front of my door.”

Once outside, Chavez and her family surveyed the damage inflicted on their home.
“I could not believe what I was seeing,” said Chavez. “My porch was gone. And when I walked around to the back, I found that the spare trailer I used as a spare bedroom and had items stored in had been ripped open and was gone.”
Nowhere to be seen were some antiques and personal items from her family stored in the trailer.

“What hurts the most is the only thing I had left of my son — who died in 1999 — which was a suitcase of letters, pictures and personal effects was gone.”

Also gone was Chavez’ boat. They found part of it about 70 yards away and the other half could be seen about 250 yards away.

Chavez walked her debris-strewn property and pointed to what she believed was the path of the tornado.

A section of tall grass was spread apart and there was a line of dirt that looked like a rut in a road. From that vantage point, across her field and the small Canadian River gorge, the remains of the Sunrise Trailer Park were visible.

“I know very little about tornadoes — just that they are wicked,” said Chavez. “It did all this damage dancing around my house and it did it all in just a matter of seconds.

“One really strange thing was that it picked up my cast iron lawn chairs and threw them. And when I was cleaning, I found a folded $10 bill on top of the debris on my porch that was not mine and it wasn’t wet or dirty.”

Despite all of the damage that was done, Chavez said she is most thankful that she and her family are safe.

“Things can be replaced but my family can’t so I am grateful to God that we are all OK,” said Chavez.

But with the clean up effort in Logan she said she can’t help but feel a little hurt because no one has come out to aid her in the clean up officially.

“I don’t want to sound petty but it hurts that no one from the Arch Hurley or the county has come out here to help clean up. My family even got a hold of them and told them what had happened out here. I know that there was a lot of damage done in Logan and that that clean up will take awhile but nobody has come out here even to check on us except for the Red Cross and Pablo with the Logan police department.

“My family and friends are the only ones that have helped me sort through my stuff that was not lost and moved it to storage. But there is debris that is all over the place that I don’t know what to do with and cannot move and dispose of on my own.”