Christmas After the Storm: Finding Reasons to Celebrate

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Families impacted by the tornado are still recovering but also finding ways to remain joyful this Christmas.

Perhaps when you’ve faced the possibility of losing everything, you’re thankful for the little things.

“Believe it or not, getting two street lights working which helps light up the street a little bit. Otherwise, it’s really, as you can tell, all the houses are dark,” said Dana Boatman.

Street lights are not the lights North Dallas resident Dana Boatman thought he’d be excited about on Christmas. On his block, Christmas is different this year.

“Normally we’d have houses with lights on them and the normal Christmas traffic and people visiting their relatives, and people coming and going,” he said.

Boatman and his wife had plans to get out of town, and then the tornado came, so they stayed.

According to city documents, 905 residential and commercial buildings sustained damage with 106 destroyed in the Oct. 20 storm.

The city saw an estimated $14.6 million in damage to city-owned buildings, including two damaged fire stations, three libraries and a recreational center. 

Boatman says the gift this year is the fact that progress has been made to their damaged house and some surrounding areas. It’s a day when everything counts as something to be celebrated.

“One of the biggest things that had my wife in tears was getting the carpet down,” he said.

Some two months ago, that was not the case.

“You’d go to sleep at night and you would hear the wind blowing or if it was raining or anything else like that.”

Boatman acknowledges that plans were interrupted, and the neighborhood is quieter than normal, but his spirits aren’t dampened this Christmas.

“Doing okay today. We were able to talk to a lot of our family, and had a nice Christmas dinner and slept in,” he said.

Boatman expects his home repairs to be completed by the end of January.

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