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'A miracle that we're OK' | As Granger families recover from tornado, community helps with cleanup

Monday afternoon, a tornado ripped through homes in Granger. Tuesday, neighbors stepped up to help clear debris among the destruction left in the tornado's wake.

GRANGER, Texas — The Granger community came together Tuesday to help clear debris and clean up property wrecked by the tornado that struck Monday afternoon.

"I'd never seen one in person or heard one, so I didn't know how serious they were. So we ran inside, got under the stairs," Haiden Mensik said.

Mensik took cover under the stairs with his wife, aunt and two daughters, Harper and Hunter.

"I could feel the walls in the house moving, the second story of the house was gone. I could see sunlight and then, seconds later, everything went and, man, it just threw us," Mensik said. "We ended up on the other side of those gas lines right there. My aunt had my girls. She was laying on top of them and I was laying on top of my wife and just hunkered down for [what] felt like forever. But it was probably only about 30 seconds. And then we looked up."

Nobody in Mensik's family was hurt during the tornado other than various severity of bruises.

"I went under the staircase with my family and as soon as I felt the house shaking, I grabbed onto Hunter and started rolling and rolling and rolling, and I got hit in the head with a piece of metal," said Harper, who's only six years old.

RELATED: 'It was very violent': Family survives after tornado rips roof off home in Round Rock

Only a couple of miles away, Larry and Debbie Mazoch's family and friends hid inside the center of their home as the tornado barreled toward their brick house.

"That back door of the house, it blew open with the deadbolt, and so that's where all the suction was coming from on our end," Christina Mazoch said. "[My roommate, Devyn Gaswint, and I] were both hanging on to the door for dear life."

Many of the Mazoch family's vehicles were destroyed in the tornado.

"We put our cars in the carport to avoid hail damage and our cars got destroyed," Gaswint said.

On Tuesday, the Mazoch family, friends and a local window boarding company were out cutting up the trees that littered the lawn and landed on top of the house.

Monday's tornado moved quickly through the area. What felt like nearly a lifetime probably lasted less than a minute, both families said.

"I didn't even have time to get scared because as soon as I, you know, came in and said, 'Hey, there's a tornado,' it was pretty much already over with," Mensik said. "We were basically protected in the wide open, you know, so I truly believe this was a miracle that we're OK."

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