Kolb was flying into the Dallas-Fort Worth airport from Buffalo, but was stuck on the tarmac for 45 minutes as a bad storm system was moving through the area. Not long after landing, passengers talking on their phones were finding out from loved ones that more than a dozen tornados had touched down in local communities.
After the passenger behind Kolb said out loud that an EF-4 tornado had just hit Granbury, Kolb immediately got on the phone and called his wife.
“I just landed when the tornados had just hit Granbury, so of course I picked up my phone and called my wife because people were talking about it on the plane,” he said. “She was good because she was there at the airport to pick me up, but we had no idea about our house.”
Not knowing the fate of his home was nerve wracking for Kolb and his wife, especially since they had never been so close to a danger zone before despite all their years in Texas.
“That was my first situation where something that devastating with that much power came that close to my house,” he said. “This is our retirement home so it means a lot to my family. So driving home was nerve wracking.”
About halfway home Kolb and his wife couldn’t take the suspense any longer. They called a neighbor hoping to find him home to survey the scene.
“He walked over to our home after I got him on the phone and said everything was fine, but there was a lot of damage on the south side of town,” said Kolb. “That was only about three miles from my house. We were fortunate.”
In total 16 tornados swept through the area responsible for six fatalities and leaving hundreds homeless.
“The next morning we got the family up and drove over there and looked at the devastation and the damage,” Kolb told Buffalobills.com. “It hits you pretty hard. It really did. We decided to contact our church, which does a lot of community stuff in our town. We found out that we had a family that was a victim of the tornado from our church.”
Immediately Kolb and his wife had an idea as to how they could help.
“We had a second home that we had up for sale in the area and we decided to take it off the market,” said Kolb. “We’re setting up for them to live in it until they get their house rebuilt.”
Their church has already put plans in motion to rebuild their fellow parishoner’s home while they live in the Kolb’s former home nearby.
“They’re overwhelmed, not just because of what we’ve offered, but what our church is doing rebuilding their house from scratch,” he said. “It’s a really good opportunity for everybody to lend a hand and for them to forget about their situation for a little bit.”