North Texas Tornado Repair Contractors Scramble With Heavy Rain Forecast

Homeowners thankful for progress

Contractors repairing North Texas tornado damaged structures raced Monday to beat a forecast for heavy rain.

The Dec. 26 tornado damaged approximately 2,000 structures, most of them in Garland and Rowlett. Garland homeowner Odessa Quinn said she lost her roof that day.

"The rain was all in the house, soaked everything, so all the carpets had to come up," she said. "The walls had to come down inside."

Workers made big progress on repairs, including a new roof to protect the new walls inside Quinn's home.

"My guys were working really hard; seven days per week," she said. "I’m grateful to them."

Garland homeowner Barb Oldani has a new roof and only minor painting to be touched up in her garage where the roof failed in December.

"The house started shaking and I could hear the tornado go over the roof," Oldani said.

Around her home, many other neighbors are not as fortunate, with major work or total reconstruction still to be done.

"I think a lot of the problem is, they’re probably trying to settle with their insurance before they start repairs," Oldani said.

Garland Building Official Jim Olk said 60 percent of the damaged structures in his city still have no permits issued for demolition or repairs. Of about 800 Garland structures impacted in some way by the December tornado, Olk said 127 were destroyed, 102 had major damage and 113 had minor damage.

Roofers and window repair workers teamed up on one Garland house to make it water tight Monday.

“We want to try to beat the rain, because the work that has been done, you don’t want to have to do it again,” said Austin Butcher with Rowlett based Window Solutions. “And the workload, we’ve just been so busy, being we’re from Rowlett, our company.”

Nearby heating and air conditioning contractor Stephen Allard installed furnace vent flashing on the roof of another damaged house.

“Water could get in for sure, so we ran a seal around that pretty good before it starts raining,” Allard said.

Allard said the house is owned by an investor who bought the damaged structure cheap from the previous owner who collected an insurance settlement and chose not to make the repairs. 

“That way they won’t be out of a house six, eight months until they can get it rebuilt,” he said.

Owner Odessa Quinn said she is looking forward to living in her home again, but it needs more repair from the December damage.

"It seems like a long time to me because I’m anxious to be back home, but it wasn’t that long ago," she said.

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