DALLAS — Congressman Lane in northwest Dallas holds a bizarre juxtaposition these two weeks after a devastating tornado. The sound of Christmas music echoes off damaged and soon-to-be-demolished buildings as some businesses celebrate their good fortune, while others wonder if they will ever be able to rebuild.
"All the floats that we owned are gone and destroyed and have to be re-manufactured," said Jeffrey Giles, executive director of the Dallas Holiday Parade. The organization stores all of its equipment, costumes and supplies in a warehouse on Congressman Lane.
Sections of the roof were ripped off. Water damaged 1,500 clown costumes, a delivery truck was tossed against a neighboring building across the street and total damages are estimated at $30,000.
"It's going to be challenging. It's going to be a deep strain on the budget," Giles said while also admitting he knows they were lucky. "I feel like we were in a Christmas snow globe and the tornado just kind of hopped from one side of the street over to the other."
Because if you take a short drive down Giles' street, Christmas might not come for the rest of Congressman Lane at all this year.
"Most of our machines are smashed. So it's like starting all over again," said Fred Shori, standing with his wife Ritu at what used to be Picture King, their fine art and framing business they've run for more than 30 years.
The tornado collapsed an entire west-facing cinder block wall, the vast majority of the roof was ripped away, the production equipment is a total loss, and most of the inventory destroyed by the heavy rain that came just a few days later.
"Life goes on for the people who are not affected," Ritu said of the devastating tornado. "For the people who are affected, their life is changed forever."
"But for us we're going to have to deal with this for a couple of years to re-establish and rebuild this business," Fred Shori said.
The initial estimate of the Insurance Council of Texas is that north Texas suffered $2 billion in losses that night two weeks ago. The losses are well into the millions just on Congressman Lane alone.
"It's like a nightmare for me. I can never have imagined this would have happened," Fred Shori said.
So, for business owners like Fred and Ritu Shori, they can only wait to see how much of the nightmare insurance will cover.
"It's unbelievable what happened," Fred Shori said.
Unbelievable, with full recovery who knows just how many Christmases away.
With their business and its inventory destroyed, the Shoris have no current income. If you would like to help, they have set up a GoFundMe account.