Progress Continues in Tornado-Torn Neighborhoods

Six months after storm passes, new normal arrives

A street repaving job that was supposed to last a few days is finally being completed six months later.

Construction crews tore up French Wood Drive in Arlington the morning of April 3 with a plan to repave the street.

That afternoon, a tornado ripped through the southwest Arlington neighborhood, just behind Martin High School.

The tornado stopped construction and started a headache for some homeowners that still hurts.

"Things got to where we didn't have neighbors for a while," said Sheldon Thompson, who lives on French Wood Drive.

Ashley Fuller and her family were among those who couldn't live in their home. Several trees were uprooted in the storm and landed on her house.

The Fullers spent more than five months living in a hotel as they waited for repairs on their home. Two weeks ago, they finally moved back in.

"[Painters] finished up painting about a week ago, and I think everything is going to be finished by probably next week. {[There are] just very small little things left, like my mailbox," Fuller said.

Even places that have a long way to go are, at the very least, better off than they were in the immediate aftermath of the tornado, which ripped roofs off homes, crumbled walls, shattered windows and toppled trees.

"Oh yeah, they've made a lot of progress," Thompson said. "Everyone is a lot more relaxed than they were, and there's not as much construction going on. It's a much quieter neighborhood."

"It's just not the same. Let me say this -- I believe neighbors have become neighborlier," said Chris Dawson, who sustained some damage to her home.

"We had so many trees taken out. I think we had five trees removed from our yard. My electricity is a lot higher. Rooms are a lot hotter because we don't have the trees covering the house anymore," Fuller said. "It's something we're getting used to."

But the new normal is better than in the days following the storm, neighbors say.

Contact Us