Gov. Rick Perry tours tornado-ravaged Lancaster

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by CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 7:31 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 12:58 AM

LANCASTER - Gov. Rick Perry is promising to get state and federal assistance as quickly as possible to tornado-ravaged regions of North Texas.

The governor took an aerial tour of Lancaster and then spoke about his plans late Thursday morning.

From the hard-hit neighborhood of  Wintergreen Road, where many homeowners have lost everything, the governor offered an update.

He said as many as 2,200 structures, 1,600 of which were houses, have suffered some sort of tornado damage in Lancaster alone.

Perry said now that Dallas County has declared a declaration of emergency, he'll work quickly to turn around the paperwork to bring federal money to the area to help in the recovery. Perry said those who have insurance will receive help from insurance companies, and those who don't have insurance will get federal assistance from FEMA.

The governor also applauded the city of Lancaster for its quick response to Tuesday's tornado, warning people in time to take cover before it struck. Perry  said as catastrophic as the overall damage is, there was not one life lost. He credits the efforts of Lancaster's emergency responders.

The governor and the chief of the Texas Emergency Management also urged homeowners still unable to return to their homes to be patient, saying it's an issue of public health and safety. About 150 homes have been declared unlivable.  

The National Weather Service reported Tuesday's tornado in Lancaster was an EF2.

The governor said two more hard-hit counties in North Texas may be next to receive federal aid if a declaration of emergency is issued.

Communities in Tarrant County and Kaufman County also suffered widespread damage after the string of twisters blew through North Texas Tuesday afternoon.

E-mail cvega@wfaa.com

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