Dan Sell (left), blue cap for the Ellis County chainsaw team, vists with Danny Wigley, a Corsicana homeowner whose property suffered sever wind damage. Wigley then pitched in and helped the TBM volunteers.

Ellis Christian Disaster Relief’s TBM chainsaw team began its “maiden voyage” June 28 in nearby Corsicana. Straight winds sent giant trees tumbling in the Navarro County city, which is immediately southeast of Ellis County.

“This is our first day, first deployment,” said Dan Sell, blue cap or coordinator of the team. Team member Rob Stanfill called it the “maiden voyage,” and he is part of the team even though he lives in neighboring Hill County.

The work on 10-12 residences in Corsicana was expected to take a few days, Sell said.

Their first job came at the home of Danny Wigley, a member of First Baptist Church in Corsicana. The team brought down two large elm trees and sawed other felled trees that could then be taken away by skid steer. They worked in the midst of the heat dome that has settled over Texas.

Wigley at times had difficulty talking through tears about the TBM crew’s work. “My brothers and I have done what we could, but y'all are just a blessing. That’s all I can say. It’s just a blessing,” Wigley said.

He was at work and his wife was away from home when the storm hit packing 75-80 mph winds. Fortunately none of the trees fell on the house. When they returned, he said, the damage was “pretty overwhelming. … I know people go through a lot worse, but for me this was pretty bad.”

When the TBM crew finished at about 2 p.m. members of the team signed a Bible to present to Wigley, asking him to pray for them as they continue their work. It’s a TBM Disaster Relief tradition.

“We’re doing it [the work] for Jesus Christ,” Sell said. “We’re here to testify to Him, and we just happen to have chainsaws and a skid steer.”

Wigley responded: “You’re looking at a future member.”