Tornado relief Day 4: Helping hands everywhere



Posted on April 7, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 3:20 AM

ARLINGTON — The National Center for the Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud will be in Arlington on Sunday helping tornado victims learn the right way to hire contractors and start the rebuilding process.

The goal is to prevent people from being ripped off.

They will be at the Arlington Tornado Recovery Center, 5501 Ron McAndrew Drive, on Easter Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

ARLINGTON — On Saturday, Arlington neighbors banded together to clean up and clear out storm debris. It's a tough job; planks of wood that flew through the air and pierced roof tops are still visible.

Other homeowners tried to salvage what they could from their damaged yards where trees were destroyed.

Artas Walker — who was in Mississippi when the storm hit — returned to find his home covered in blue tarp.

"It's just been rough," he said. "Basketball goal gone... the Jacuzzi... all that's gone ... but you know what? The most important thing is nobody got hurt. Nobody got killed. That's just a blessing."

Walker said he's also blessed to be part of such a giving community. People who don't live in his neighborhood participated in the clean-up effort — from football players at nearby schools to church members. The Red Cross relief truck also pitched in to help.

LANCASTER —  A lending hand from Lubbock made its way to Lancaster on Saturday. Volunteers from the Texas Tech football team drove their massive equipment truck to town to deliver goods.

The players donated everything from bottled water to pet food, even a TV set.

The team spent several minutes organizing the supplies. Then they headed out to storm-ravaged areas to hand them out and also to help clean up.

KENNEDALE —  Students from Kennedale High School spent their Saturday handing out care package kits to families affected by storms. The school started collecting items on Wednesday morning.

"It makes me feel good knowing you can help someone, especially if it didn't happen to you, and it could have, cause it was that close to your own home," said senior Liza Lentz. "It feels good to help those people that actually need that help."

Storm victim Gary Levenstein appreciated the effort of the young people. "They took it on their own responsibility to take care of that, I mean that's fantastic," he said. "I never had anything like that happen."

Some of the students' homes were hit as well, and nearly all of them know somebody who was affected.

D/FW AIRPORT —  American Airlines flights are finally picking up at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The carrier expected only 27 flights to be canceled on Saturday because of hail damage from Tuesday's storm.

There were nearly 300 cancellations on Friday.

So far, only one Sunday flight is canceled due to hail damage.