The Forney tornado damaged a lot of homes in the Diamond Creek subdivision, despite this, the people there were incredibly optimistic and grateful.
I drove out to Forney, Texas, located about 20 minutes east of Dallas, to get some photos of the neighborhoods hit by tornados. One of the worst-hit areas was a community called Diamond Creek. The people I met there were amazing. Despite all the destruction left in the aftermath of these violent storms, everyone’s attitude was positive. They all just kept saying how they were so grateful to just be alive.
The young man in the photo above is CJ, and the window above his head is where his bedroom used to be. His house was one of the worst-hit houses in the Diamond Creek area. I spoke with his mother also. I asked her how she was doing and how she and her family were coping with the loss of their home. She said it was hard at first, but now they are trusting God because they believe He has a plan for their lives.
I met Dennis while he was picking up debris out of his backyard and swimming pool. I noticed that the inside of a section of his fence had the American Flag on it. When I asked him if I could get a photo of him, he immediately walked over to it and let me take this great pic of him.
A Community Coming Together
Steve, in the photo below, doesn’t live in the area. He lives in Mesquite but came over here to grill hotdogs and hamburgers and give out food to all the people affected by the tornado and to those who were helping clean up.
I also spoke with Anna Wheeler, the young woman helping clean up debris in the photo below. She and her family came out here to help other family members to clean and gather their important personal belongings.
While walking around and taking photos a guy named Bill called me over to offer his ladder. He encouraged to me climb onto his roof to capture photos from a high vantage point. While I was up there taking photos I also met Marcus. He took the day off of work to help his friend patch up their house, clean up, and start fixing it.
When I went to photograph the Forney tornado damage, I never expected to encounter such open and kind people. Their attitude will surely help them all rebuild their homes and community quickly.
Thanks for sharing your work, Matt. They all really tell a story. I like the mystery behind the last one. Good job man!
Thank you very much Sam and I’m glad you were able to see that about the last photo.
Good job! The photos show such a good story, first the destruction, then everyone pulling together to fix it up, than like sam said, the last one is such a mystery, like “let’s see what is next on life’s agenda.”
Thank you Rachael!
Wow Matt what a touching photo shoot. I think its so awesome that Steve went there to cook for everybody, what a thoughtful man! I love the positivity these people have despite the destruction of a big part of their life. I can’t imagine going through this. Thanks a lot for sharing this Matt. It’s more moving to get an authentic, personal look at this devastation as you portrayed than hearing the drab, apathetic voice of a newscaster. I got a little teary eyed at one point. This is so sad, yet so inspiring.
Mike, I totally agree with you about Steve and all their attitudes. It was very moving to actually go there and meet them and get see their hope first hand. I’m so glad I was able to touch you with these photos in the same way these people touch me.
These photos brought the disaster closer to home it’s wonderful how this community is pulling together and how outsiders are willing to be of assistance where ever needed Thank you for your outstanding work
Thanks Mom! And it was so cool seeing how people in Texas are so quick to be there for their neighbors when they are in need.
Thank you for all you did to help these folks. What a wonderful and caring gesture.
It was my pleasure, I didn’t do anymore than just tell a small part of their story. I’m so thankful to them for their openness and friendliness towards me.
Great documentary photography! So sad to see so much devastation but so grateful that no lives were lost.
Outstanding work Matthew.
Thank you so much Christie for your kind words! That was the universal theme I kept hearing, everyone was so thankful that no one lost their life to the tornadoes that day.
That CJ dude up there is an acquaintance of mine. The photos are very eye-catching, but I cannot help but feel full remorse for someone I see everyday at school. It’s depressing, and I only wish the best for him.
Thank you for your comment and I do as well.
This is some amazing work! The efforts in Forney, Tx touch my heart. I enjoyed being out there doing a little to help these guys piece a little bit of their lives back together. What speaks even more volume to me is that first picture is the house that I was helping at and just realized it. I am so humbled by this. Prayer will continue to go out to this family and all of the others that were impacted. keep up the great work!
I really appreciate your comment and encouraging words Kristen. Prayer are definitely going out to that family and all the others affected by the tornadoes that hit that day. And I agree, it was all very humbling, disasters like this really put things into perspective.
Awesome documentation of the destruction but most of all, how people come together during a crisis.
Thank you so much Jacqueline!
Great captured. Good work!
Thank you very much Laurens.
That was a great photo story, Matthew!
I, too, am from San Diego county and have a dear friend in Forney.
What impressed me is how these folks had mostly smiles on their faces and were so willing to help one another!
And what servant’s hearts they all had!
Pics like these, though tragic in terms of property loss, restore my faith in the American spirit.
Thank you for sharing.
LOOKING FOR ALICE AND DAVID LACY FROM AREA