City officials in Wylie are starting to see just how badly last week’s hailstorm ravaged the area. Initial estimates say 80 percent of homes and businesses were damaged to some degree.READ MORE: Proposed Texas GOP Elections Audit Would Only Look At Large, Mostly Democratic Counties
“That could be anything from a cracked window to a total loss,” says Wylie’s mayor Eric Hogue.
Estimates on the cost of the damage are not available yet.
The city has about 15,000 homes, which means roughly 12,000 are covered in blue tarps and have wood where glass used to be. However, for those homes that need major repairs, the city is giving homeowners a bit of a break.
“We’ve waived work permit fees that homes and contractors would need to do their repair work,” Hogue says. “This way it won’t impact our residents any more than they already have been. And it still gets someone from the city walking through to make sure the work was done safely and correctly.”
When the hail hit last week, Wylie residents were still reeling from a storm back in March. The rain we’ve seen recently has made its way into their hail-damaged homes, despite roofs being covered in tarps. Mold and mildew growing inside the damp houses is now a real worrying factor in residents’ minds.READ MORE: Texas Star Gymnast Simone Biles To Return For Olympic Balance Beam Finals
Wylie’s public safety building also took a pounding from the hail. Police, fire, municipal courts and the 9-1-1 dispatch center all had to be relocated. The dispatch center is now in a trailer behind the wrecked building.
“We never lost services, people need to know that,” Hogue says.
It could be almost two years before that building is usable again. Still, Hogue says their city is banding together.
“We’ve got a lot of faith based groups working together to raise donations,” he says. “And we’ve had 14 different cities step up and loan us their police cars, fire equipment, whatever we need. That’s how we do things in Texas.”
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