Damage Cleanup Differs in Forney, Lancaster

Forney residents begin cleanup; Lancaster closes hardest-hit areas

By Ray Villeda
|  Thursday, Apr 5, 2012  |  Updated 12:09 AM CDT
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The city says residents in several Lancaster neighborhoods are not allowed back in to see their homes because it's just too dangerous to enter.

Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News

The city says residents in several Lancaster neighborhoods are not allowed back in to see their homes because it's just too dangerous to enter.

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Total Devastation in Forney

NBC 5's Keaton Fox talks with a Forney High School student about the loss of his family home.
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One day after powerful tornadoes struck North Texas, two cities are dealing with the aftermath in different ways.

Residents in Forney spent Wednesday sifting through the wreckage, while people in Lancaster had a hard time getting into their neighborhoods to see the damage.

According to preliminary assessments by the National Weather Service, an EF-3 tornado hit Forney, and an EF-2 went through Lancaster.

In Forney, hundreds of volunteers helped homeowners sift through the wreckage in the Diamond Creek subdivision, the area hit hardest.

Michael Lynch, who moved to Texas after surviving Hurricane Katrina, was all too familiar with the process.

“[I] thought I wouldn’t have to go through this again,” he said.

But it was a different story in Lancaster, 20 miles to the east. There, police blocked off three neighborhoods with the hardest-hit homes.

For the time being, residents are only allowed to get their medications during the day. Otherwise, it is off-limits. People who live there but whose homes were not badly damaged said it was frustrating.

Lancaster's mayor estimates 150 homes are unsafe.

A declaration of emergency was signed by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins late Wednesday evening in order to try to get federal funding for the area.

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