Canton has learned its tornado response the hard way

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The warning sound across the radio and cell phone have become familiar to the city of Canton. Two years ago, April 29, 2017, tornado warning sirens could be heard throughout Canton with officials saying, “we were hit with 4 tornados, two of them are F-3’s, two of them zero’s.”

The storm left many injured, some dead, and destruction at every corner. 

“It’s massive. The job of search and rescue, it’s difficult to maneuver down the roads, we had a lot of debris, just getting down the roads was a challenge,” said Don Kirkpatrick, Van Zandt County Judge, 2 years ago. 

Kirkpatrick continued in April stating, “once you go through it you learn, and we learned quite a bit through the tornado. We learned all the procedures, the outs and ins,” said Kirkpatrick.

Fast forward to now. Just 2 years later, the city was tested again. 

“We’ve got a fantastic staff and city manager, and they’ve worked closely with the police chief’s and the fire chief to make sure first responders have all the resources they need to be able to respond and react,” says Nathan Moore, Canton City Council member, serving as Interim Mayor. 

Moore explained the damage Canton is currently seeing does not compare to before. 

“Two years ago most of the damage was outside the city limits, so we had a lot of help to come in from other communities to help us out but surely you learn how to respond to the emergency situation where you have people who are injured or hurt. Unfortunately, people were killed in the last event, nothing that serious this time,” explains Moore. 

With tornado season in full effect, officials hope residents stay alert.

“It’s very, very dangerous and the last one two years ago in 2017 were so powerful and so destructive that you hope that people never get used to that,” says Moore. 

He goes on to say tornados and twisters shouldn’t be considered normal for the city of Canton. 

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