EMORY, Texas – An EF3 tornado with winds up to 165 miles an hour skipped across Rains County Saturday night, destroying homes in the city of Emory, about 75 miles east of Dallas.
Sara Perry, 25, and her 2-year-old son hid in a hall closet as the twister rolled across Highway 69 and shredded her home southeast of town.
“We just hunkered down and we had a pillow. I stuck on top of us and squeezed tight,” she said.
The tornado damaged or destroyed at least 25 structures in the county after pushing north from Canton and Van Zandt County, said Jon Wedeking, Rains County’s emergency management coordinator.
No one died in Rains County, he added.
“He just lost everything and he’s trying to figure out why he’s alive,” said Dennis Threadgill about his brother Darrell, the only serious injury in the county.
The 49-year-old suffered 10 broken ribs, a punctured lung, and multiple deep cuts on his arms and abdomen after his home was wiped from its foundation, said Dennis.
“He said he reached for the door and the door took off. He lunged for the couch just to hold on to something,” continued Dennis.
Bleeding and injured, Darrell Threadgill still went next door to rescue Sara and her son after the tornado passed.
Rains County doesn't any more volunteers right now, said Wedeking. Cash donations are appreciated, he added, suggesting people contribute to Rains County Good Samaritans or Lake County Neighbors.
Volunteers brought chainsaws and tractors to clear roads and trees off homes, helping clean up a town that’s grateful it wasn’t any worse.