Survivors recount living through at least 3 tornadoes that ripped through east Texas

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

CANTON, Texas - Eighty-year-old Gene Minter welcomed KPRC2 reporter Bill Spencer inside what is left of his and his wife Patricia’s home.

The couple have lived in the home for the last quarter century, but now there’s almost nothing left of it.

"She called me she says, 'It's over. The home is gone.' I said, 'You’re kidding.' She said, 'Now it's gone,'" Minter said.

Patricia said she was home alone Saturday last night when the tornado hit. She had suffered several broken bones in her face when she was struck by flying debris. Patricia said the house just started to break up around her.

"You could hear the metal roof coming apart," Patricia said. "You could hear the roof coming apart."

A total of three tornadoes are to blame for damaging thousands of homes over stretches ranging up to 15 miles wide and 35 miles long.

"There are more than 5,000 addresses impacted by these tornadoes, which is the reason for our urgency we have today,” Gov. Greg Abbott said.

Parts of Ron Duke’s home were heavily damaged. His work shed, for example, and the family pool were destroyed, but Duke, his wife and their four children escaped. He said they gathered together in a small room and prayed they would be spared.

"(We) closed the doors, covered up with pillows, gathered together closely and prayed aloud," Duke said. "God is good. He protected us."

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