CANTON – Last month’s tornado hit East Texas hard.

The Insurance Council of Texas announced Thursday the storms unleashed an estimated $150 million in damages.

“It’s just overwhelming how much damage, we have, and how long it’s going to take to rebuild and how much money it’s gonna take,” said Canton Mayor Lou Ann Everett.

In light of the estimated millions of damages, Gov. Greg Abbott asked the U.S. Small Business administration to declare Van Zandt County a disaster area following the deadly storms.

As residents here continue rebuilding their lives, Canton High School students spent the afternoon helping clean up. Students like sophomore Jackson Heard who says his family was spared during the storm. The students were working at the ravaged home of their math teacher’s sister.

“I really like helping. I feel like I’m helping for the greater good of the community,” he said. “It’s definitely brought people together, it’s really a hopeful feeling throughout all of East Texas, it’s like one big family.”

The damage estimate includes those who were hit and have insurance, unlike the uninsured CJ Harden we visited in the days after the storm.

In an area where there’s always a weather threat, the mayor of canton says they will rebuild and move on.

“You’re not gonna move forward if you’re in despair,” she said. “There’s a time to cry, you wipe your tears, you pick up a shovel. And that’s what I’ve seen with the wonderful people here.”