severe storms

Garland, Rowlett Residents Reflect on Damaging 2015 Storms as Severe Weather Is Anticipated

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North Texans who've lived through massive storms will tell you it's always best to be prepared and have a plan.

Some residents of Garland and surrounding cities who remember the storms of 2015 and 2019 still have lingering anxiety. City leaders, though, said they’ve learned a lot from those experiences, and they feel prepared for whatever may come Thursday afternoon.

Ivan and Melissa Jimenez vividly remember December 26, 2015. Ivan was at work while Melissa was at home in the path of one of the tornadoes.

“I grabbed the pets, grabbed the laptop and my purse and went into the bathroom,” said Melissa Jimenez.

The devastation spanned several cities, including Garland, Rowlett, and Sunnyvale. Garland Mayor Scott LeMay was a council member during the time. He said he’s learned a lot since then.

“Everybody should be weather aware,” LeMay said. “Know the timing of the storm. Know the predicted track of the storms.”

As for the potential for severe weather over the next 24 hours, he said emergency operations, repair crews and first responders will be in position. By Thursday morning, he said response teams will have received important briefings and prepare to mobilize at a moment’s notice.

“Also, we have standing contracts with contractors who just remove vegetation. So, if a tree comes down across a road or power line, we can get them in there to get repair crews in,” said LeMay.

At Oncor, a spokesperson told NBC 5 they’re keeping an eye on the forecast as well. As it evolves, they’ll stage staff members, line workers and equipment and resources in anticipation of a major event.

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