Richardson Begins Cleaning Up From Tornado Damage

Six schools remain closed on Tuesday

Hundreds of families and business owners in Richardson began cleaning up on Monday from a tornado that downed trees and power lines, ripped off roofs, shattered windows and left some homes unlivable.

"It's just like a bomb going off," said homeowner Jimmy Lee. "It's not just like a crack. It's a boom. Like somebody throws a grenade."

Lee and his wife were watching a movie on TV but were grabbing a snack in the kitchen when it happened.

They took shelter inside the kitchen closet.

"We took no chances," Lee said.

The Lees have a big tree down in their front yard and a broken window but remarkably little damage -- especially compared to some of their neighbors.

Many of THEM their roofs blown off.

"We knew it was bad when the power went out," said Nawal Mahmood, who lives a few blocks away.

She and her family of five huddled in a closet and emerged to find their house wrecked.

A gaping hole is visible above their front door.

"It's crazy to see in the span of five or 10 minutes your whole neighborhood just change," Mahmood said.

City crews are working overtime to re-open streets and replace downed traffic lights.

The city released no official numbers on how many businesses and homes have been damaged or destroyed. But the number certainly is in the hundreds.

All around town, neighbors are helping neighbors.

Members of the Richardson High School baseball team pitched in with chainsaws and axes, to clean up downed trees.

"Just trying to help out," said student Joseph Valdez. "We had the day off."

Still without power, Jimmy Lee and his wife plan to sleep at home and get by with flashlights and candle light.

Six Richardson schools remained without power and will stay closed on Tuesday.

They are Audelia Creek Elementary, Christa McAuliffe Learning Center, Dover Elementary, Hamilton Park, Pacesetter Magnet, Richland Elementary and Stults Road Elementary.

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