Family recounts terrifying tornado: ‘It took the air out of the house. You couldn’t breathe’

Granger community picking up the pieces after tornado rips through town
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 8:55 PM CDT
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GRANGER, Texas (KWTX) - A tornado that ripped through Granger Monday leveled a recycling center, wreaked havoc on a storage unit facility and destroyed several homes in its path east, though no injuries are reported.

Residents like Larry Mazoch were home with the families, and watched the tornado quickly approach their property.

“[My family] said ‘you better get in here. It’s on the news. It’s right above us,’” Mazoch remembers. “I ran inside and here we go. Our ears were popping. You couldn’t hear and then it took the air out of the house. You couldn’t breathe.”

He and seven other family members hid in a hallway in their house with their German shepherd. He says the windows busted open and they had to hold the doors to keep them from flying open.

“We didn’t hear loud bangs or anything it was just like wisping, sheering wind, you know,” Mazoch said.

He says the impact lasted seconds, when they felt safe enough to go outside they discovered the shed protecting tens of thousands of dollars worth of farming equipment was gone. Windows on their tractors were blown out, they’re still assessing the damage hoping no other damage was done.

“It took the grain cart up and stood it on its back,” Mazoch explained.

Across Highway 95, a storage unit was wiped out by the tornado. Debris was scattered throughout the property, while many RVs, trailers and boats being stored there were turned over, torn apart, one carried hundreds of feet away and flipped upside down.

Granger tornado rv turned over
Granger tornado rv turned over(Megan Vanselow)

Once the storm hit, the owners came to the facility to spend the night, making sure no one came to steal what was left of people’s belongings.

Granger tornado storage unit destroyed
Granger tornado storage unit destroyed(Megan Vanselow)

Further east, a pair of homeowners say their house is likely a total loss after it got hit Monday night.

The home had been restored just six years ago, now a large hole in the roof exposes the original woodwork the family once admired.

Their contractor returned to the home Tuesday to see how much damage the tornado did to its foundation.

“Its racked and almost knocked off its foundation at this point I don’t think we can get it back,” Tim Talley, owner of Manco Homes explained.

“Makes me feel good that we built a house that withstood a tornado, it didn’t come down on them,” Talley said.

Granger tornado damage
Granger tornado damage(Megan Vanselow)

“We thought the house would be the safest place and it was, as you can see the house is still standing,” Mazoch said.

The roofs over their heads may be destroyed, but are what may have saved their lives. Now, the community is keeping them going.

“Some of the people we didn’t even know that are bringing us water drinks and food,” Mazoch said.

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