Tornadoes Damage Homes, Change Lives in Runaway Bay

When you look at the damage in Runaway Bay, it's hard to imagine that no one was killed or even hurt badly.[[304482631,C]]

The fire chief says about 24 to 30 homes or structures may have been damaged.

Fire Chief Brian Bernardo tells NBC DFW 24 to 30 structures were damaged. That's out of about 600 houses in the community.

Among the damaged homes are three condos that sit close to the lake.

Bernardo says the National Weather Service has told him the tornado was probably an EF-1 or EF-2.


Bernardo got the call that a tornado was on the ground at about 9:30 Tuesday night. On his way to the scene, the tornado spun his vehicle all the way around. He didn't see it. He didn't hear it roar. It was dark and raining hard. As he rolled up to the damaged condos, a huge piece of metal slammed right in front of his car.

Tornado Damage in Runaway Bay

At the condos, resident Richard Morgan was sitting in his hallway with a mattress over his head when the tornado hit. It ripped part of the roof off of his home.

Morgan joked, "We have got a tremendously large skylight." He paused. "It's a total loss in there." This was his vacation home. Morgan says he feels bad for his neighbors who live there full time.

Across the highway on the other side of the lake, NBC DFW met 76-year-old Carol Tanksley. She was in her home to when the tornado struck, ripping off part of the roof and side of the house. She says she remembers hearing the wind howling and her three dogs howling. Her dogs thought someone was trying to break into the home, but she knew better. It was the tornado. Her neighbors pulled her out to safety afterwards. Thursday, as she looked over the damage for the first time, she says she is lucky to be alive.

"I praised the Lord I was blessed. Especially when I saw the damage," Tanksley said.

Tanksley is fine and the dogs are okay, but one of them has a cut on its foot. The home looks like a total loss, but when we visited, the electricity was still on and if you listened carefully, you could hear the sound of jazz playing from somewhere deep inside the house.

Tanksley has no insurance and will stay with her son until she figures out what to do next.

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