ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – One week after the city of Arlington was hit by an EF-2 tornado, nonprofit Arlington Charities finally got their power back on.

The organization wasn’t hit directly by the tornado, but did experience knocked down power lines, as well as a ruined A/C unit and destroyed cooling sources for their freezers all from wind damage.

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They’ve been in Arlington for 40 years, but say they’ve never seen storms like this.

“Based on our neighbors having lost their roof, and their walls, we were very fortunate,” said Deborah Coppola, the Executive Director for Arlington Charities.

When they showed up last Wednesday, Nov. 25, they had only a small portion of spoiled food.

They then moved the rest to be stored at Tarrant Area Food Bank and in outdoor cooling trucks over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The goal was to have power back by Monday, Nov. 30, but when it didn’t come on until late Tuesday night, staff worked the last two days in the dark.

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“It was cold, and it was dark, but we had a job to do. Once we got going, it was beautiful,” said Sue Cary, an Arlington Charities volunteer.

Since the pandemic began, they have more than doubled their amount of families who are in need of food assistance from 60 a day to 200.

To put that number in perspective, each family only comes once every two weeks.

That’s why they said it was vital to get back to work as quick as possible.

“Our focus was getting things repaired as quickly as possible and open up as quickly as possible,” Coppola said. “The impact is however, to our Christmas distribution in that—now this has put us a week behind. We will be working overtime to get those things ready for our distribution that starts December 14th.”


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Nicole Nielsen