DENAIR (CBS13) — A tornado in Stanislaus County caught people in Denair by surprise, claiming two homes in the process while damaging nearly two-dozen.
Many people lost trees, several lost their roofs, but while most people in Denair will still be home for the holidays, Zand Woodard will not.
"Sounded like a freight train went through the house. All the windows blew out and the TV flew across the room," he said.
His neighbor, Gene Shrabel, was concerned.
"I told my wife, 'I got to get to Zane's. I think it tore his house up.' This porch was just full of stuff and we dug him out. We got him out," he said.
Woodard's insurance company says rebuilding his home will take four or five months. For now, he and his wife live in a motel.
"My sister invited us for Thanksgiving. That was very sweet," he said.
He has Parkinson's disease and says he couldn't remove any debris. He's very grateful for a group of caring people who showed up this weekend to help.
"A lot of volunteers here, including people from Denair, people from all the churches. It was wonderful," he said.
At the opposite end of Zeering Road, another homeowner was also forced out. Neighbors say she's battling cancer.
"Bless her heart. I know she's lived there a long time," Woodward said.
Despite nearly losing his home to a tornado, Woodard says he has a lot to be thankful for.
"For that tornado to go right through the middle of town and not hurt anyone, that's a miracle," he said.
He says he's fortunate his insurance is covering the costs to rebuild his home and barn.
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