Environment
5:00 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Arlington Starts To Recover

In Arlington, residents are assessing damage and cleaning up after Tuesday’s destructive tornadoes. KERA’s Bill Zeeble visited some of the city’s hardest hit neighborhoods.

The din of power-saws and idling utility trucks has replaced the terrifying roar of an advancing tornado. Melissa Busby stands with her 7 year-old daughter in front of her neighbor’s destroyed home on Quail Lane. It’s a pile of rubble. Her parents’ home - one house down - is at least still there.

Busby: The front’s pretty torn up and the fence that my dad just built is completely torn down, and the air conditioning unit is somewhere around here. Yes there’s a lot of damage. You know, it’s just material things.

Busby looks at the neighbor’s home and says her friends are ok, safe and alive. Their totaled house is one of 428 damaged by the tornadoes that struck three different Arlington communities. Jim Pinker, repairing his damaged Arlington home, is an insurance adjuster with experience handling storm recoveries.

Pinker: This is bad, this is really bad. As long as I’ve lived here I’ve never seen anything like it. This wasn’t one tornado. Had to be several.

To help those home owners like Pinker, Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson says the city is now staffing a command post at the fire training center in West Arlington.

Crowson: We’ll have city teams here with information and the ability to get them the resources they need to solve their issues. Be it an ONCOR issue or utility issue, or keeping streets clean, or debris removal, or information on code enforcement or police and fire services.

Crowson says the command post at the fire training center will stay open for weeks, maybe longer, until Arlington recovers.

130 or so evacuated residents of the Green Oaks Nursing Home remain with relatives or at other centers. Workers at the Green Oaks Home say they have no idea when tornado repairs will let them re-open.