911 Operator Remembers Tornado Tragedy in Garland

In the midst of 200 mph wind, for those who were trapped or hurt, their only life-line was the voice on the other end of their call for help.

Jessica Forsyth was that voice. She was working as a 911 operator on the evening of Dec. 26th 2015.

"All of the sudden every phone line that we had just lit up," she said.

"There were people screaming! There were saying, 'help, we're trapped, our house just collapsed on us,' or 'my car flew off the bridge.' It was devastating," said Forsyth.

The EF4 Tornado tore through the south-eastern tip of Garland, TX around 6:45 p.m. The damaged spanned 2 miles near I-30 and the George Bush Turnpike. Eight people were killed, 15 were injured, and 600 structures were flattened or reduced to piles of debris. 

Though Forsyth could not see the storm or tell when the tornado hit, the chaos and brokenness the twister left behind was easy to hear.

"Every resource that we had, we sent out to different parts of the highway," she said. "There were houses on fire, people trapped, car accidents. We don't have time to think or feel, we just have to get people the help that they need."

Even though the anniversary of this massive storm is a tragic reminder of the community's loss, Jessica believes Dec. 26th is also a reminder of how the community united and came together.

"It brought people together. People care, and we remember," she said.

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