RICHARDSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Erin and Lyle Cmerek said on this day a year ago, October 20, 2019, everything changed for their family of six.
“We’re sitting in this hallway, looking at our phones and watching the news and it got really quiet, power went off,” Erin said.
In about 30 seconds, strong winds followed by a tornado created an estimated $70,000 worth of damage to their Richland Park home.
“We heard things crashing and breaking and then it was over and we all got up and I didn’t know if it was safe to leave, but my husband was determined to see what’s going on,” Erin said.
“Outside all the trees were in the road and trees were on top of houses,” Lyle said.
“Everyone is yelling and making sure everyone is okay and that was really the first moment when I realized what an awesome neighborhood this is,” Erin said.
Across Richardson, the city’s Office of Emergency Management reported 12 structures were destroyed and around 200 were severely damaged, including more than 50 homes that were deemed uninhabitable.
In the weeks and months that followed, big hauling trucks removed almost 60,000 yards of debris and repairs began.
“Just about every home is livable at this point,” Lyle said about his street. “I couldn’t have imagined this type of progress!”
A year later, he said the landscape of their neighborhood is not the only thing that’s transformed.
“More sense of community than there ever has been,” he said. “I don’t want to say I’m thankful for the tornado, but there’s been some blessings that have come from it!”
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