RICHARDSON (CBSDFW.COM) — FEMA crews toured parts of Richardson slammed by last week’s tornado, assessing the damage at public facilities and the storm debris.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in Richardson alone, there are more than 45,000 square yards of debris, and that it could cost the city $1.5 million to remove it.
He and other local leaders are hoping the federal government will pick up the tab for cities and other local governments for clean-up and recovery.
“Whether the local taxpayers pay for that or the feds pay for that depends on what happens with these FEMA inspections,” Jenkins said. “That’s why they’re so important. It’s important to me that our local taxpayers don’t feel the brunt of this. This is an emergency and I believe it should be paid for by the federal dollars.”
Jenkins said in order for that to happen, uninsured damages in Dallas County must amount to $38.4 million.
He said there were 15 schools damaged in the Richardson ISD.
A preliminary assessment by the city found 54 homes and 196 apartment units are uninhabitable, 671 structures are affected by the tornado, 12 destroyed, 60 have major damage and 206 have minor damage.
After the tornado blew through their neighborhood, Bob and Charlotte Gatlin said they’re worried about the roof of their house — and it’s not the only damage.
Mrs. Gatlin said they had seven windows blown out.
Aside from their house, the Gatlins said they’re also growing concerned about all of the storm debris continuing to pile up.
In some cases, it’s so high that it’s difficult to see there’s a house standing behind it.
“Need this debris picked up,” Mr. Gatlin said.
And as for Mrs. Gatlin, she had just had a successful heart procedure just one day before the tornado struck. When the storm blew through, she said she thought her time was up.
“We’re lucky. We’re very lucky. I’m lucky to be alive because I thought I was going to die,” she said.
FEMA crews will tour the city of Dallas Wednesday.
Judge Jenkins said officials from the Small Business Administration will be in the area Wednesday as well to determine if the area qualifies for individuals to receive low interest loans to fix their homes and businesses.