This weekend dangerous storms struck East Texas. So far, the national weather service has confirmed nine tornadoes hit the area. Roughly a year ago, some of the same counties were also struck. 

When tragedy strikes East Texas, the effects are felt throughout our region. For the families impacted, there is nothing worse than the unexpected loss of a loved one.  

There have been many prayers for the families impacted directly, and indirectly, by the storms this past weekend, but in the coming days, while the national news cycle might move on, the people of Canton, Fruitvale, Eustace, Mineola, Lindale and all those hit by the April 29 tornadoes will still need our prayers and actions. 

My heart hurts; rebuilding our communities is just beginning, but I know, from being an East Texan all my life, that in situations like this our communities pull together the most, and lean on our creator, just as we should. 

The Energy Weldfab family will be helping the communities impacted by the tornadoes, and we call on other East Texans to do the same. 

Donations are being accepted at several churches, police and fire departments. Many individuals, businesses and organizations have also announced support drives for the affected. Due diligence calls for research before donating, as scammers can take advantage of people’s goodwill during hard times such as these. 

According to media reports, diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies and hygiene items are among the items needed. However, the best donations are often money or gift cards. This gives tornado victims the chance to meet unique needs. 

Volunteering is another way to help.

The Van Zandt County Fire Marshal and Emergency Management’s office said Tuesday that a volunteer reception center is open at the Van Zandt County Fairgrounds, which is located at 24742 Highway 64, Canton, TX 75103. They ask that volunteers check in there. It will remain open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Donations are also being collected at this location.

In an interview with KLTV Monday, Justice of the Peace Scott Shinn said Wednesday was designated as a clean-up day, and asked volunteers to meet at the Canton fairgrounds at 7:30 a.m.

 Kilgore firefighters assisted with clean up efforts.

Kilgore firefighters assisted with clean up efforts.