Tornado Outbreak Devastates North Texas Communities

NRB | October 31, 2019 | Member News

Many families in North Texas are still struggling after nearly a dozen tornadoes devastated their communities last week, ripping up hundreds of homes, along with churches and businesses.

With estimated damage of $2 billion, last week’s outbreak is the costliest tornado event in Texas history, according to the Insurance Council of Texas. That figure could rise as more commercial and business claims are assessed.

“The damage is overwhelming and there is a lot of work to be done, but the community is coming together to help their neighbors,” Buckner International reported late last week from the Bachman Lake area of Dallas that was hit by one of the tornadoes – an EF-3 that produced estimated wind speeds of up to 140 mph. Earlier in the week, two of Buckner’s Family Hope Centers teamed up with Texas Baptist Men to feed more than 250 residents affected by the storm. This past Tuesday, Buckner also delivered school supplies and hygiene products to Thomas Edison Middle Learning Center for displaced students from Thomas Jefferson High School, which is closed for the remainder of the school year due to the significant damage it received from the tornado.

“Buckner has a strong presence in Bachman Lake and we are committed to helping our neighbors in their time of need,” said Steve Watson, Director of Aid and Assistance at the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid, according to a report. “We know that it will take time to rebuild homes, schools and lives, but we hope to ease the process and take away some of the day-to-day concerns like needing school supplies or hygiene products.”

Also on the ground are disaster relief teams from Samaritan’s Purse and chaplains from the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT), who are working to help residents get back on their feet.

“Although we thank God that there was no loss of life from this tornado, we are saddened that many people’s lives have been significantly impacted by the destruction left in its wake,” said Josh Holland, Assistant Director of the RRT, in a report. “We are praying for each family affected and our chaplains are blessed to be able to share the comfort and love of Jesus Christ to those who have lost so much.”

According to reports, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was expected to deploy teams in the area this week to assess damage from the tornados. Teams were scheduled to look at damage in Garland on Monday, Richardson on Tuesday, and Dallas on Wednesday.

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