Monday, May 11, 2015

"I'm Glad I Went Out for Ice Cream": A Personal Story of Survival from Van, Texas

From Anita Foster, American Red Cross North Texas Region

Chase Scruggs stands in the area where his Mom's house used to sit.
As the sun came up over Van, Texas this morning, there wasn't much doubt that the small town east of Dallas would never be the same. Tornado sirens wailed in the late night hours as residents did their best to get to safe rooms and cover up. Chase Scruggs said his late night craving for ice cream saved his life.

"I went out with my fiance and our daughter to get some ice cream when I heard the sirens," said Scruggs. "I knew right away that we needed to get to
shelter." While calling his Mom to tell her to get into the hallway, he sped with his young family to his mother's house on Bois d' Arc. Seconds after they dove into the hallway with the rest of the family, the tornado literally picked up their entire house and moved it from its foundation.

"We threw blankets over my daughter and my younger brothers while Dad and I tried to hold the doors closed," Scruggs reflected. "We barely made it to the hallway in time."

Scruggs was donned in heavy work gloves and boots to begin the daunting task of cleaning up what was left of his Mom's house. Meanwhile, Scruggs had yet to make the short trip across town to check on his own home, also in a hard-hit area of Van.

"I'll get to my house shortly. For now, it's most important to focus on those who have lost everything."  

The Red Cross will help Mr. Scruggs and all of the families affected by the Mother's Day storms. To help the Red Cross, click on to make a financial gift. For updates on Red Cross responses across the area, follow us on Twitter @RedCrossDFW.

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