Community comes together in Forney, making for quick recovery




Posted on April 5, 2012 at 11:30 PM

Diamond Creek subdivision, Forney

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FORNEY - Remarkable progress is being made in Forney, where an EF-3 tornado touched down Tuesday. Barely 48 hours later, the city reports about 75 percent of the debris has been cleared away.

Dozens of homes in the Diamond Creek subdivision were damaged, 16 of them are uninhabitable. But while nature tore apart Forney, human kindness is putting it back together.

"You have people who can drive down streets without getting nails in their tires and without big trees in their way," said Forney City Manager Bryan Brooks.

So many volunteers have shown up to help and so many donations have poured in, Forney is sending aid to victims in other cities.

"We aren't turning volunteers away, but we are looking for things for them to do," he said.

The donations poured in to a church that barely survived. Mustang Creek Community Church is within view of the hard-hit Diamond Creek subdivision.

Houses on either side of it were wiped out, but pastor Robert Kennedy watched the tornado miss his church altogether.

"We were standing in our offices and literally laying hands on the glass and praying, and watching the tornado come across the houses and elementary school behind us," he said. "And as it got to our building, it just dissipated before our eyes."

Now his church is the center of relief and belief.

Victims like Bryan Couch are thankful for so much support. He said strangers have been helping him clear debris since minutes after the storm, and people have brought by food and water each day, too.

It is sadly familiar to him.

"Back in June, we had another storm, and lightning struck my house and it burned down," he said. "We had been renting this one while our new home is built, and the tornado hit it. Just one of those things."

"Now, all of my neighbors are saying whatever direction I move, they are going the other way," he said with a smile.