YARRELTON, Texas — The Parker family, comprised of an auto collision mechanic, a Cameron ISD school teacher, and their three children, were huddled in an interior bathroom as their Yarrelton house, camper, and attached workshop were ravaged by a tornado Monday night.
The family politely declined an on-camera interview Wednesday but shared with KRHD that not only are they shaken up, but one of their pet cats has been unaccounted for since the storm.
"Their RV was totally destroyed, wrapped around a tree," said family friend Kayla Glaser. "There’s very extensive damage to their home, especially the front half of their home. All the windows busted out, and there's lots of wind damage on the inside.”
Dallas-based storm chaser Tim Bovasso was in the area at the time the storm hit. He took photos of a funnel cloud touching down near where the Parkers live in Milam County.
“The smaller tornado, still pungent, still a strong tornado - that tornado did dissipate probably about ten to 15 minutes after [my] photos were taken, heading to the north and west of Cameron," he explained.
While Bovasso did not witness the impact on the Parkers’ home, he said he is sad to hear that the storm destroyed their property. This level of carnage is not new to him. Bovasso felt the power of this same storm near Elgin.
“I will say, when the tornado crossed Highway 95, I was probably half a mile to the south of the tornado, but my car was still being rocked by 90 mph wind gusts," he said. "So there was quite a large area [of wind] right outside [the tornado].”
Kayla Glaser co-owns Cyclone Corral BBQ in the Cyclone community, not but a few miles from Yarrelton. All-day this Saturday, her restaurant will be taking donations for the Parkers, with donation jars, a charity corn hole competition, and a silent auction.
Popular Waco-based Texas country music artist Holly Tucker will also be performing at the restaurant at 7 p.m. Saturday night, in order to draw a crowd for the event. Glaser said she is hopeful that people will give.
"Cameron is pretty close, and so is Buckholts," she commented. "All these rural communities really do a great job of getting together and helping one another, so I’m really hoping it will be a good event.”
If you’d like to help the Parker family recover from this storm, but can’t make it out on Saturday, visit the Cyclone Corral Facebook page, where a GoFundMe campaign has been posted:
The GoFundMe is also available here: