Students Left Homeless From Tornado Continue to Weather Storm

It was exactly two months ago since a tornado ripped through parts North Texas, destroying nearly 1,000 homes.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing assistance for cities to rebuild and clean up debris, but it's no comfort for homeowners who have been displaced for 60 days.

Until the tornado hit December 26, the Boeman family lived in a single family home for the past eight years.

The structure is still standing, but the city has declared it unsafe to live.

Thankfully, the Boeman’s survived, but separation is the new reality for the family.

"Our family has always been united and close and it’s just hard not having everybody together,” said father Ruben Boeman.

Some of Boeman's children are staying with relatives. Most of them have moved into a hotel in Plano, more than 30 miles away from friends and school.

They are learning to cope with chaotic travel schedules just to get to class.

"We bought a heater and put it on our room and then from there, we stayed here a couple weeks even though we’re not supposed to just because at first we didn’t have transportation from the hotel to our school,” said Boeman’s 17-year-old son, Alex.

Across the damaged zone, many families are in the same position.

“We have identified 1,100 hundred students that have been affected and of those 1,100, we have 337 students that are still being seen by a counselor,” said Ruby Armstrong, Director of Counseling for the Garland Independent School District.

Despite all the uncertainty, Garland ISD says attendance rates at the schools has not dropped.

"Kids are very resilient,” said Armstrong. “They have done a great job just trying to get back to normal.”

In order to get their normal back, hundreds of other families they are still trying to put their lives back together.

They have been filing insurance claims and rental assistance.

Recently, the Boeman family also received more bad news. FEMA has denied individual assistance and because the Boeman’s house was in foreclosure before the storm, the mortgage company is holding on to their check.

The family is in limbo as to what is next, but they are anticipating the day when they won’t have to call a hotel their home.

"Things are tough, but you just have to keep going because at the end of the road, God has something planned for you,” said Alex.

The state of Texas is appealing FEMA's decision.

Officials are asking anyone impacted by the tornadoes to fill out a nine question survey in hoping update the impacted household count.

The deadline to complete the survey is Sunday, February 28.

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