Residents Rush to Protect Tornado Damaged Properties Before More Storms

Rain threatens more damage to tornado ravaged structures

Contractors and property owners rushed Thursday to protect tornado damaged properties before the latest round of rain arrived Thursday afternoon.

In the neighborhoods around Marsh Lane and Walnut Hill Lane in North Dallas, blocks and blocks of homes are damaged.

Workers with Total Roof Protection from Fort Worth were helping property owners with temporary roof covering material.

"There a lot of homeowners out here that still haven't got tarps and we're trying to run around Dallas, do as much as we can before it rains," said Josh Mullins, a company worker.

Homeowner Martha Vega was happy to see them.

The roof of her home was damaged in Sunday's tornado and then a second storm that night did more damage.

"The second go around with all the wind and the rain is when the sheet rock started falling inside," she said. "It was actually raining inside of our house."

She and her relatives put blue tarps on the house themselves but she welcomed the professionals' review of the situation.

"We already started taking out some of our furniture. We have a little 10 by 10 foot storage but we can't fit all of it in there so we're looking for another storage," she said.

Other people on her street were trying to cover roofs themselves Thursday morning.

Also helping Vega with debris in her yard were dozens of Home Depot employees from the store at Forest Lane and Central Expressway that was demolished by the tornado.

Employees said store manager Jordan Jasper had sent them all home before the tornado, so none were injured when disaster struck.

They were happy to help Jasper with the volunteer clean up drive Thursday.

"We're going to work until we can't work anymore. Our store got impacted pretty quickly, but this neighborhood got hit just as hard." Jasper said. "Rakes, shovels, brooms, it doesn't matter. If it's our two hands we'll do that. We'll pick up anything we can so these guys can get moving on with their lives."

On another street nearby, resident Donna Mullet inspected temporary patches on her roof that is still mostly intact.

"I think it's OK," she said. "I hope so."

She lives just two doors down from dwellings that have no roof. Residents in those homes lost all their belongings.

"It's tragic," she said.

By Thursday afternoon, John Porras's living room had already filled with nearly an inch of water.

He and his parents had refused to leave the house they've called home for 35 years after half of it was blown away. They were resolved to stay again Thursday night as the remaining portion was drenched in rain. 

“It is what it is. I’ve been through worse, you know? So I think I’ll survive," said Porras. 

He said the roof of the home's back bedrooms and den had remained intact, providing enough shelter until things dry up and he can begin repairs. 

Power was restored Thursday at the corner of Walnut Hill and Marsh. The traffic signal was working again. Businesses that were structurally sound reopened. But many buildings at the intersection are ruined.

Heavy equipment was busy in the neighborhood removing debris with vehicles from the City of Dallas and private contractors. Public works vehicles from the City of Fort Worth were escorted into the area by Dallas Police cars.

NBC DFW's Allie Spillyards contributed to this report.

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