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Couple who once aided Katrina victims now rebuilding after Upshur tornado destroys home

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 1:57 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2022 at 10:12 PM CDT
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UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A month after a tornado damaged many homes in Upshur and Marion counties, cleanup and reconstruction continue. And some residents are further along than others.

Wanda and Lindley Hagler have come a long way after a tornado damaged nearly everything on their property on FM 1649 in March.

“It’s coming back together pretty quickly. We’ve got a lot of work to do; made a lot of progress and just going to be one building at a time,” Lindley Hagler said.

They both say the property wouldn’t be nearly as cleared of debris without help.

“Brought a lot of equipment in here and packed metal in roll offs and trash in dumpsters and that kind of thing so we’ve just been blessed with help,” Lindley Hagler said.

He said help came from his friends, his sons and people he barely knew. And when people stop by now, they recognize the progress.

“Everybody tell us we’re just way ahead of everything, but it’s been mainly because of the help,” Lindley Hagler said.

Other properties hit by the same tornado still have debris piled up awaiting removal. Wanda said the toughest thing was the demolition of their house.

“Lindley and his dad had built the house. So, you know, it was pretty special. And it went down, and they burned it that night and we watched it burn so, it was hard but it had to be,” Wanda Hagler said.

Now an RV sits on the concrete pad where the house once was. Lindley says four uninsured tractors were damaged that he’ll have to pay for out of pocket. His barns and workshop were destroyed, but the workshop is going back up. It and the house were insured. They don’t seem to be in much of a hurry.

“No. According to my wife, she wants a house,” Lindley Hagler said as Wanda laughed.

“It may take us a while, but we’ll get back to some form of living,” Wanda Hagler said.

The Haglers once aided disaster victims and helped out after Katrina. They say they will continue raising hay and cattle but on a smaller scale than before the tornado.

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