Texas Property Damage Insurance Claims

FORT WORTH, TX – On May 15, 2013 residents of suburbs in the Fort Worth area watched as clouds swirled in the sky when tornado sirens went off around 8:00 p.m. Wednesday evening. NBC Dallas Fort Worth reported multiple twisters swept through North Texas damaging dozens of homes resulting in several deaths. After enduring six hours of constant tornadoes terrifying the area, at least six people were killed after one of the tornadoes touched down in Granbury, a suburb of Fort Worth. Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds says wiping out a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood of 120 homes. There were reports of homes being flattened with people still inside Hood County Judge Darrell Cockerham says. By the end of the day, the outbreak would produce the deadliest tornado to strike the Dallas Fort Worth area in more than 50 years. It was the strongest twister locally in 19 years, an EF4 packing 180 mph winds.

At least 14 people are unaccounted for as authorities scramble to find them. At least 90 people were evacuated and about 10 went to shelters overnight. Witnesses said it sounded like a loud train running through their homes as they took cover in basements, cellars and closets. The area was leveled. The Dallas Morning News spoke with Hood County Sheriff’s Lt. Kathy Jiveden who said that crews “are going house to house” looking for those trapped, injured or dead in the rubble of demolished homes in the DeCordova Ranch and Rancho Brazos Estates neighborhoods, according to AP reports. Those areas are in the southern part of the town of about 8,000 residents near Lake Granbury. The city had to put out an emergency call for medical assistance to other counties. The tornado was part of a system of severe thunderstorms that spawned several tornadoes across North Texas and dropped large hail in some areas. 16 tornadoes were reported across North Texas between 5:38 p.m. Wednesday and 12:10 a.m. Thursday.

Winds up to 85 mph blew through the area of Cleburne as a mile-wide tornado hit on Wednesday evening causing several injuries, downed trees and power outages. The area was declared a disaster early Thursday morning. Heavy damage was reported at Gerard Elementary School and homes around the area. The Associated Press reported that officials had no estimate on the number of homes damaged in Cleburne but that they expected the numbers to soar into the dozens based on the mayor’s inspection of the damage ranging from roof damage to total destruction.

Though Hood County and the Cleburne area were hit the hardest, residents from Montague County to Ennis saw tornadoes develop rapidly all around them. Three twisters developed almost spontaneously leaving residents almost no time to react. Another tornado was spotted in nearby Lake Nocona about 30 minutes later. Shortly after that, another struck Lake Amon near Bowie where five homes were damaged and the clubhouse at the Top O’ The Lake Country Club. Dubbed as tornado alley, residents know to always keep an eye on the weather.

Storm spotters reported seeing a mile-wide tornado five miles northwest of Rio Vista at
9:19 p.m and another tornado spotted in Hood County about the same time. The small town of Milsap, 40 miles west of Fort Worth, was hit by yet another tornado damaging roofs and a barn but no injuries were reported. Hail the size of grapefruits pelted the Mineral Wells area causing minor damage.

In a report by CNN, Matt Zavadsky from MedStar Mobile Healthcare said a tornado touched down several times in Hood, Tarrant, Dallas and Parker counties. “With these types of tornadoes, they touch down, they lift up, they touch down. They tend to hopscotch,” he said. Donna Martin, a worker at a local veteran’s organization said, “My husband told me that a car was lifted in the air. It just came in and hit so fast.”

The National Weather Service said 32 counties in Texas and four in Oklahoma were under a tornado watch until 1:00 a.m. CT. Officials hadn’t confirmed that a tornado touched down in Dallas but said the storm was capable of producing one. However, the city was still affected with approximately 37 flights diverted from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, said spokesman David Magana, delaying several flights through the course of the evening. Downtown Dallas also got pounded with surprise storm that flooded streets. Dan Shoemaker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth says the storms begin forming to the north and west, where it’s sunny and hot. As the upper level low tracks east, a line of storms try to form causing the possibility of some severe scattered storms as part of the aftermath of the tornado. These storms are capable of forming up to golfball size or bigger hail caused by the cold air.

The Associated Press reported that officials expect the number of homes damaged will soar into the dozens based on the mayor’s inspection of the damage ranging from roof damage to total destruction.

Fort Worth, TX Tornado