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ROWLETT (CBSDFW.COM) – Local and federal teams are touring parts of North Texas today to get a better idea of the damage caused by 10 tornadoes that touched down over the weekend.
Members of Dallas County Homeland Security and Emergency Management is escorting teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of Texas.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins accompanied the teams. “I’m really pleased with the response of the local, state, and federal partners in quickly turning around requests for inspection to process aid requests for the people of North Texas,” he said.
The city of Rowlett had one of the hardest hit communities. Rowlett Mayor Todd Gottel and Rockwall County Judge David Sweet was joined there by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Bob Hall surveying damage in that city today.
Rowlett is just one area in North Texas where home and business owners are cleaning up and rebuilding. Officials lifted a 24-hour curfew in the city Tuesday, but left restricted access to areas where public works crews are clearing streets in place.
Crews area also working feverishly to figure out how to save a local landmark. There are concerns the Rowlett water tower could topple over.
Strong winds from the EF-3 tornado that tore though the city Saturday damaged the tower. Engineers with the city did an inspection and decided to stabilize the structure using guy-wires.
A 200-foot evacuation radius will remain in place until the city decides whether to repair the tower or replace it.
Now, days after the storms, we are also hearing the frantic 911 calls made just moments after tornadoes touched down.
One female caller told the dispatcher: “Our house fell on top of us and we’re trying to find my niece and my mom.”
Another male caller made an urgent request: “Send rescuers. Send fire department immediately.”
From the sound of his voice, the view in front of one man was apparently overwhelming: “I’m telling you 30 trailers tore up, beat up. We need some fire engines and people out here. People are trapped in these trailers and it’s probably 50 trailers that are on the ground.”
Those affected by tornadoes in Rowlett also got some help from the Humane Society of North Texas. On Monday, the group transferred five adoptable dogs from the City of Rowlett Animal Shelter. HSNT workers say they made the move to create space for pets affected by Saturday’s storm.
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