Three injured, 25 homes damaged by tornado in Van Vleck

- The twister that tore through this part of Matagorda County left a mark, and it was a mean one.

"I looked up in the sky and I seen them twisters and it was one of them bouncing twisters," said Jerry Garza, a Van Vleck Volunteer Firefighter and longtime resident.

The tornado passed within 200 yards of a Van Vleck Middle School packed with children, plowing into Gary Ashton's boyhood home instead.

It's sole occupant was his beloved sister.

"By the grace of God, the part of the house that didn't collapse, that was the room she was in," said Ashton.
 Turns out, close calls on this day in Van Vleck were common.

"We've got about 25 structures that are damaged either the roof blown off or completely gone," said Mitch Thames, a Matagorda County spokesman.

When the twister hit, it completely flipped a mobile home. A mother and two children were inside. Eighteen other trailers were left virtually untouched. It was good fortune that would hold for the trio tossed by tornadic wind.

"She just grabbed both of the kids and laid on top of them and then the trailer flipped and the belongings landed on top of her. Motherly instinct kicked in and she kept her babies safe," said Leissa Schraider, a longtime resident and owner of the mobile home park.

It's an outcome folks in this storm rattled town gladly accept on a rough day that could have been so much worse.

"Three injuries, it's a bad deal, but a good deal. Better than a fatality I think," said Garza.

"I'm just gonna say thank you Jesus, thank you," said Ashton.

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