North Texas Storm & Tornado Damage Could Reach $250 Million
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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Right now, the number stands at $250 million. According to the Insurance Council of Texas, that is the amount of insured damage caused by the multiple tornadoes that moved across North Texas on the May 15.
As many as 16 tornadoes are believed to have plowed through the area south of Fort Worth. The most serious damage happened in Granbury, Cleburne and Ennis.
Nearly 10 days after the storms Johnson County Judge Roger Harmon said in addition to the total destruction of many homes, other residents have not yet been able to go back home. “Most people have friends that they’ve been able to go to,” he said. “The American Red Cross has assisted everyone, in conjunction with the Salvation Army, in helping people find homes and places to stay.”
While the $250 million estimate is high, that number doesn’t include every structure damaged. There are still insured homes that haven’t had damage assessments and the damage done to the homes of the uninsured are still being tabulated by the Federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA).
Of the residents in his county Judge Harmon said, “The majority of these people were insured, and so they do have something to fall back on. It’s the ones who are uninsured [who] have nothing to fall back on.”
Some of the most serious damage, and all six deaths, occurred in Granbury. Hood County Judge Darrell Cockerham said the cleanup effort continues. “We’re hauling dumpster, after dumpster, after dumpster of the debris off to the landfill.”
A number of the homes severely damaged or destroyed were in the Rancho Brazos neighborhood and included homes built by Habitat for Humanity. Judge Cockerham said while the properties built Habitat belong to low-income families, the requirements of the non-profit have safeguards.
“There were 60-something Habitat for Humanity homes and the good thing about that is that all of those homes are required to have insurance. So insurance will come in and Habitat is in also to help do that…. but insurance will be repairing a lot of those homes,” he explained.
The Johnson County tornado that touched down in Cleburne has been given a preliminary EF-3 rating. A twister that strong could have winds of more than 150 mph. Judge Harmon said the while the damage is extensive, the cleanup is moving along.
“Were making really good progress. The adjusters, from the insurance companies, are still down making assessments, so a lot of the damages and cleanup will depend on when the insurance adjuster gets there.”
The tornado that hit Granbury has been given a preliminary EF-4 rating, meaning it could have had winds up to 200 miles an hour.
The twister that went through Ennis was a confirmed an EF-1 and had winds of 90 miles per hour. National Weather Service investigators said the damage caused in and around the Town of Millsap was also from an EF-1 tornado.
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