Just one day after Christmas, North Texas was hit with a devastating storm that produced EF3 and EF4 tornadoes, and damaged over a thousand homes. Living in Tornado Alley, we get our fair share of tornadoes, but this one was the second deadliest tornado outbreak in the DFW area’s history.
Eleven people were killed in the storms, including a 3-day-old newborn baby. The Rowlett City Manager called the damage to their city “catastrophic.” There are hundreds of families who were celebrating Christmas with their families one night, and the very next night found themselves in a shelter with only the clothing on their backs.
Today I packed up the back of my SUV, with some help from my neighbors, and took donations to Copeville, TX, about 35 minutes from my house. The damage I saw from the main road was heartbreaking. And there was even more devastation in Rowlett, where they have received so many donations that their donation centers were totally full.
Upon arrival, there were school aged children who came to my car in the freezing cold to help me unload. There were giant coffee dispensers set up for families who were sitting at tables together quietly. The church volunteers were working tirelessly to sort through donations of clothes, baby food, diapers, wipes, canned goods, toys, toiletries, blankets, and more. It was heartbreaking, yet heartwarming to see the community coming together to help each other in such a big way.
Although the latest report is that there are no people unaccounted for, there are many pets still missing. Shelters are overflowing, groups are being formed online to share lost and rescued animals, and the pictures are being distributed online throughout the community to get pets back to their owners.
And today, city workers and volunteers are still out in the freezing weather rescuing pets underneath the debris. Watch as Sawyer the dog is rescued by workers after his owners heard him barking:
An incredible rescue. Homeowners came back to look through debris and heard their dog barking from underneath the rubble. Two days after #Rowletttornado the rescued him. This is Sawyer’s rescue NBC DFW
For those wondering, Sawyer was reported to have no injuries or broken bones and is in great condition.
Update 12/28/15 11:08 pm ET: The same homeowners also found their other dog, Lucy, buried underneath the rubble. Lucy is also in great condition. The rescue can be seen below:
If you would like to donate to the Texas tornado victims, they are still in need of monetary donations. Please visit https://garlandtx.recovers.org/ or https://rowlett.recovers.org/. For animal related donations, please visit http://friendsofrowlettanimals.org/donate/.