Forney: Neighbors amazed to find no fatalities in the rubble

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 4 at 10:22 PM

Diamond Creek subdivision, Forney

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FORNEY - It was a fair and sunny day Wednesday for the first day of clean up in Forney after Tuesday's tornado hit the city hard.

Residents were grateful for the weather, but happier still that no one was killed in the storm.

As Greg Winters picked through the remains of his mother-in-law's house, he marveled that she just had slight injuries after it came down around her. She's alright he said, and that's what's important.

"Y'know, this is stuff," Winters said. "This is all replaceable, so we're excited that she's not injured. Her dog survived, as well."

Ninety-five homes were damaged in the storms in Forney, and 16 of those were destroyed, according to the city.

Among those sorting through the debris was Winters' 10-year-old son, Duncan. They also live in Forney, and Duncan just got home from school Tuesday as the tornado roared in.

"We were going, 'Please don't hit our house, please don't hit our house, please don't hit our neighborhood,'" Duncan said. "And I was in the bathtub, reading the bible."

Duncan got to help in the clean up because he had no school Wednesday. The nearby Crosby Elementary was hammered in the storm , knocking out windows, tossing air-conditioning units and tearing the roof. The school will remain closed through the weekend, but will reopen Monday.

With the destruction widespread in Forney, many remain surprised no one was killed or seriously hurt. The city said that wasn't just luck.

Warning sirens sounded at 3:19 p.m. and the tornado hit the Diamond Creek neighborhood 23 minutes later. The city also sent e-mail, text and reverse phone calls.

"The fact that everybody that woke up in Forney yesterday morning is still alive today in Forney, that's a real blessing," said Forney Mayor Darren Rozell. "Zero fatalities."

Residents were being allowed to go to their homes and sort through debris Tuesday in Forney, unlike other parts of North Texas. The only restriction on the Forney area is a curfew for Wednesday night only from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday morning.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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