Texas Dairy Picking Up the Pieces After Tornado Devastates Farm

Cleanup crews help pick up damage from a tornado that wiped out the Dominy Dairy near Alto, Texas. ( Nacogdoches Rotary Club )

A dairy in East Texas has been dealing with the aftermath of an EF-3 tornado that directly hit the farm.

Mike Dominy and his family took shelter in a closet at their home in Cherokee County as a tornado ripped through their family’s dairy on April 13. When the third-generation dairy farmer was able to see the damage he was left beside himself.

“I felt totally helpless and totally hopeless to be honest when I first saw everything because I’m just one little person and there’s...I don’t even know where to start or where to begin,” Dominy says.

There were heifers that had been killed, several cattle with broken legs or metal sticking out of them.

Fortunately, friends and neighbors came to the Dominy Dairy and helped move out 380 head of cattle in less than five hours. Dominy calls them “an army of angles” and even says there were people he didn’t know that lent a hand.

The storm wiped out many of the structures on the farm, including the home that Dominy grew up in near the town of Alto. He says that the tornado damage is bad enough that he plans to sell the cows rather than rebuild the dairy.

“There’ve been cows milked here 60 something years and we’re out, there’ll never be another cow milked here again. It just costs too much to try to put it all back together,” Dominy says.

“I'm going to sell them all, and after the cows go, I won’t be selling milk anymore. I’m not bitter about anything, I just feel very blessed by all the help,” he adds.

A number of people came to the Dominy family’s aid during the continuing cleanup like 20 coworkers of his wife that work at Edward Jones. They ran chain saws to cut up pine trees that had toppled over and used tractors to pile up wreckage. The Nacogdoches Rotary Club and East Texas Jeep Club also came to the farm and picked up the scattered debris.

“This is something that just needs to be done. We're trying to help out our neighbors in need. It doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, what color you are, how poor, how rich you are it depends on if you are in need,” says Ray Mitchum, Nacogdoches Rotary Club and East Texas Jeep Club member.

Despite the tornado devastating his farm, Dominy sees a silver lining to it.

“This made me see the good side of people in a way you don't always think about,” Dominy says. “So many people helped, and it just made me think there's still a lot of good people with a big heart who want to help.”

Below are some social media posts from the cleanup efforts: