Fresno family describes terrifying moments before tornado destroys Texas home

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Ashley and Victor Martinez moved from Fresno to Texas five years ago with their two kids, and the family says they're just thankful they weren't among the 16 killed when storms and tornados swept through the region. (KFSN)

A Fresno family that moved to east Texas five years ago had their home destroyed by a Tornado on Saturday.

Ashley and Victor Martinez are just grateful to be alive after a tornado roared through their neighborhood. Deadly tornadoes and storms on Saturday claimed 16 lives in four states.

They tore homes to shreds in and around Canton, Texas and left neighborhoods devastated. The largest twister ripped apart the area where the Martinez family lived.

They described a terrifying night.

"I go to the front door, and I start to listen and it sounds like, 'Woooo,' I can't explain it," Victor said. "It was scary."

The tornado left their home in pieces and their vehicles badly damaged. Ashley's parents also live on the 40-acre property, so they rushed to their home which was built to withstand strong storms.

"Once we got in that house and got underneath the stairs, the sound of everything crashing was just insane," she recalled.

The Martinez' were stunned by the sight of all the rubble outside after the storm passed. Victor showed us where their house used to be and recalled his daughter's plea as the tornado got closer.

"My daughter says God told her it's time to go and look at this here's the bottom of the frame of my home," he said.

Crews are now trying to restore power to the area. The Martinez' lost everything but are staying with Ashley's parents until they can rebuild, which may take a year.

Ashley says the only direction they can move is forward.

"Even though we stand among the ruins, there's still a light at the end of the tunnel," she said. "So, I think with that hope and that strength we know that the main thing is that we're here and we're alive."

The Martinez' say they've dealt with plenty of tornado warnings over the years but never thought they'd be in the middle of a twister.

The family set up a GoFundMe account to help them rebuild.
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