TO DONATE TO THE FRUITVALE REBUILD INITIATIVE: https://www.giveffect.com/campaigns/4267-rebuild-fruitvale-tx-disaster-relief-2017?ref=1&uid=50261
Lawrence/Williams Photo Album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154685617949397.1073741911.86754499396&type=1&l=b48e1d2d5e
“I stood on the porch and I heard the train,” said Lesa Lawrence, referring to the tornado bearing down on their family property in Fruitvale on April 29. “Me and my daughter in law just put our arms around each other and prayed that we’d make it through OK. When we were in the pantry, we heard the whole house being ripped apart.”
Lawrence and four other adults, one child, and four dogs were huddled in her son’s pantry; she now calls the “Prayer Room”. Her and her family plan to save the door from the pantry and save it for their future home, as a reminder of the storms that took their homes, but didn’t take them.
“The whole house was torn up but not one item moved on these shelves,” she said.
Lawrence, along with her son and daughter, were just a few of many Fruitvale residents devastated by the tornadoes. On May 5, the mayors of Flower Mound, Argyle, Highland Village, and Lewisville released a mayoral call to action letter seeking help to collect the necessary funds through Habitat for Humanity of Denton County.
She said she received a call from her son Randy, a Van Police Officer, that the storms were headed her way and they didn’t look good. This was not the first time tornadoes had come through the area, but the first time the Lawrence family property took a direct hit.
Lawrence knows all about danger, not only is her son a police officer, but her daughter Melanie and son-in-law Damon are Sheriff’s Deputies with the Van Zandt Sheriff’s Office. Melanie had been called into Canton just before the storms arrived in Fruitvale, to help the residents with the storm damage, but quickly had to go home, when she learned her home had been wiped away, down to the concrete slab, by the storm. Perhaps a small silver lining for the Williams, their dog, a former K-9 officer with Wills Points PD, made it through the storm just fine.
Slowly, but surely, the family is clearing the debris and trying to get their lives back together. For now, the three families are living in several travel trailers, parked on the property. Lawrence said she has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the Fruitvale community, a place she’s called home since the 1980s.
If you’d like to help the Lawrence and Williams family through the mayoral initiative and Habitat for Humanity of Denton County, please visit https://www.giveffect.com/campaigns/4267-rebuild-fruitvale-tx-disaster-relief-2017?ref=1&uid=50261. For more information about the Fruitvale Rebuild Initiative, please visit http://www.flower-mound.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1766.