Impact from 2012 tornado outbreak still visible in North Texas

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by TERESA WOODARD / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 6:37 AM

FORNEY, Texas — Earlier this week, Sherry Enochs sat on a window sill at her Forney home and stared out the glass. 

"This is the window I open up first every morning, every morning," she said.

But she can close her eyes and see the same thing: the past. It was one year ago that a tornado touched down; her home came crashing down.

"I got in that bathtub and that's the last thing I remember, is getting in there and sitting down, and whatever happened after that I don't know," she said. 

The bathtub Enochs hid in blew away and was never found. But the Forney grandmother, her grandson and two other toddlers she was babysitting all survived. 

The Enochs' home in the Diamond Creek subdivision in Forney took a direct hit and was demolished. One year later, the house is now a concrete slab with all the debris cleared away.

Enochs said she wasn't scared. She knew she had to find strength for the children whose lives were in her hands.

"I guess that's what kept me going, is just to keep the babies OK," she said. 

She helped the kids through that awful day but their cheerful spirits helped her through this year. 

She still watches two of those same children, including grandson Laine Miller, who is now two and a half years old. He has a scar on one arm and a few other fears: wind, sudden noises, car washes.

"Oh and he was scared of the bathtub for about a week, about a week," said Sherry. 

It's been 52 weeks since that tornado cut a diagonal line through one of Forney's newest, nicest subdivisions. Mayor Darren Rozell has vivid memories. 

"It was well after nightfall that night before I went to the neighborhood," he said. 

Rozell said he thought the area looked like a war zone.

There's one home still visibly damaged, but almost all of the rest has been cleared away.  There are empty lots in several places.  

"The cool thing was to see so many Forney people come together," Rozell said.  "Families that had been here for generations, families who'd been here a year or two, all pitching in to help.  Nobody asked which side of the highway was it, it was just Forney.  And everybody showed up to help."

This community proved its spirit, and it's a community the Enochs couldn't leave.

From that window she opens first every morning, Sherry can see the old concrete slab where she held those babies tight.  Their new home, built by a contractor in just 90 days, is one subdivision away from their old one.

"They always say, they'll never hit the same place twice, so that's what I'm hoping for," she said. 

All of Forney hopes so too.

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