After the tornado: Rebuilding homes in Granbury

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 1:45 PM

GRANBURY — Habit for Humanity volunteers in Granbury gathered on a clean concrete slab at 7:30 Wednesday morning.

Broken houses, smashed cars and splintered trees dotted the surrounding landscape.

They prayed.

"We thank Thee for this new beginning for Olga and her family," said project manager John Bradbury.

This isn't the first time they've raised prayers (and walls) at 3701 Ranchview Drive. In fact, Habitat finished a home here on May 15 — about four hours before a tornado scraped the foundation clean.

Six people were killed in nearby homes.

Olga Hernandez and her four children were about to move in. "This is incredible," she said Wednesday. "I didn't expect to see so many people out here."

Hernandez joined volunteers in the work. She helped build the first house, too.

So did 84-year-old Bill Jackson.

"It was sad because we were proud of this," Jackson said. "It was a good lot and a beautiful house."

Jackson and about 50 workers with Trinity and Hood County chapters of Habitat swarmed the site, along with volunteers from Community Bank.

It's a blitz. They'll be done in a few weeks.

The first wall frames went up less than three hours after work began.

There were 60 Habitat homes in the Rancho Brazos neighborhood. Tornadoes damaged almost all of them, and destroyed 20, organization officials said.

A Habitat leader said the group will start nine homes in the neighborhood this year, several on behalf of tornado victims.

"All this rebuilding and everything is going to bring people closer together," Olga Hernandez said. "It's got to be a better community now."

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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