FREDDIESVILLE, Texas – A 75-year-old year man held on to the walls of his RV as a tornado headed straight for his home in rural Galveston County.
It happened just after 2:20 p.m. on Mallard Street in a community in between Hitchcock and Bayou Vista.
Neighbors watch the twister skip through the area, narrowly missing several houses, before a direct hit on an RV and an adjacent mobile home.
“It came down, it stopped, it went back up and it moved over. It dropped down on his property. When it came down, it hit bottom, and you could see it slinging the debris, and the power went out,” explained neighbor Levey Walton. “I was like, that’s not a train. We’ve just had a tornado!”
For neighbors, it was less than a minute of sheer panic. The elderly man, who had the most to be worried about, kept his composure.
“Once it started, I knew it was a tornado. You just have to hold your breath,” explained Buzz Zetka. “The tornados don’t scare me.”
Zetka anchored himself down by grasping each side of the RV while it bounced up and down. He clenched his 30-pound Shih Tzu in between his legs.
“He didn’t know what was happening,” recalled Zetka. “I mean that trailer was going every which way. I was holding on.”
The tornado then disappeared off into the bay, and residents came out to assess the damage.
It knocked down a fence, damaged power lines, flattened the mobile home used for storage and toppled several trees but spared Zetka and his precious pup.
Neighbors say Zetka is lucky to be alive, but he doesn’t see it that way.
“When I was a drinking man, I survived 400 times worse than this. That’s why I lived to be 75,” he laughed.