FEMA surveys tornado damage in North Texas

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by CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 9 at 6:00 PM

ARLINGTON - A team from the Federal Emergency Management Agency spent the day in the tornado-ravaged neighborhoods of Arlington to assess damage.

FEMA's North Texas stops included looking at 66 homes that suffered serious roof and water damage on Homestead Road in South Arlington.

Spokesman Brad Craine said the damage assessment team came at the request of Gov. Rick Perry to verify what he saw during an aerial and ground tour last week. The team surveyed damage and also looked into who was and who wasn't insured.

Resident Greg Nichols told News 8 while he welcomes any assistance from FEMA, he said their presence was late. Six days after the tornado hit, he's still struggling to rebuild half his townhouse, while also preventing additional damage.

Nichols and other homeowners in the neighborhood said the local community has offered tremendous support through the past week, but said the federal government was slow to deliver.

Craine said the response was quick. The tornadoes hit North Texas Tuesday, and damage assessments began Friday.

Once FEMA wraps up its work in Arlington, the team will present an overall damage assessment of Dallas, Kaufman and Tarrant counties to the governor. It's then up to Perry to decide if he wants to ask President Barack Obama for a disaster declaration, which would bring federal money and assistance to neighborhoods in need.

The tornado that blew through Arlington was an EF2 tornado, which packs winds of up to 135 mph. The tornado badly damaged at least 100 homes and shut down the Green Oaks Nursing Home and Residential Center after blowing off its roof.

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