Continuing Coverage of Tornado Outbreaks in North Texas

Lancaster Reviews Its Tornado Response

City leaders assess performance during storms

By Randy McIlwain
|  Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012  |  Updated 12:27 AM CDT
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City officials assess their emergency response to the April 3 tornado.

Randy McIlwain, NBC 5 News

City officials assess their emergency response to the April 3 tornado.

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The city of Lancaster took a hard look at its tornado response two weeks after a twister damaged hundreds of buildings.

The EF-2 tornado on April 3 damaged 2,000 buildings, including 300 homes. Some 150 homes are uninhabitable. Ten people were injured in the storm, but no one was killed.

City administrators met Monday to assess their emergency response and preparedness in light of what continues to be a lengthy recovery.

City Manager Opal Robertson gave her staff high marks.

A few weeks prior to the storm, the entire city staff held a tabletop drill on how to respond to a weather emergency. Everything from the activation of Lancaster's Code Red warning system to search and rescue to disaster relief was executed fairly flawlessly considering the chaos caused by the storm, officials said.

Efforts continue to help citizens get debris removed and get their lives back in order.

Mayor Marcus Knight said there are still a lot of questions about the future and whether federal funding would be made available for recovery. But in the interim, Lancaster would take care of itself and is confident that it handled a tragedy well and is prepared to handle the next emergency, he said.

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