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Rowlett: Tornado damage “catastrophic,” at least 148 homes totally destroyed

(Tyler Portillo Photo, taken an hour after the tornado hit, posted on Rowlett/ Sachse Scanner Facebook page)

(Tyler Portillo Photo, taken an hour after the tornado hit, as posted on Rowlett/ Sachse Scanner Facebook page)

ROWLETT – Rowlett City Manager Brian Funderburk says the damage caused by the 3/4 mile wide, EF3 tornado that tore through Rowlett Saturday evening, leaving a four-mile path of destruction, was “nothing short of catastrophic.”

As of 9:30 this morning, with 1,000 homes assessed, 148 have been categorized as totally destroyed and 854 impacted. The home damage was listed as follows:

  • 148 Totally destroyed
  • 188 Major damage
  • 298 Minor damage
  • 220 Affected

In addition, 43 businesses have been categorized as impacted thus far:

  • 5 major
  • 38 minor
  • 23 have ceased operations

Although 23 people have been injured, no additional fatalities or injuries have been reported.

“It’s an absolute miracle, as far as I’m concerned,” Mayor Todd Gottel said.

The city has instituted a 24-hour curfew in the damaged neighborhoods, allowing access only to emergency workers and residents.

About 4,900 homes were still without power. Oncor has teams in Rowlett working on restoring power and are receiving additional resources now.

“The City has now moved into recovery mode and will begin clearing streets and right-of-ways of debris,” said Funderburk.

The Red Cross has established a location at 3700 Chaha for affected residents to receive assistance. Local Rowlett relief organization, Life Message, located at 4501 Rowlett Rd, also has received considerable donations of goods, clothing and food to share with those impacted.

Those who want to make donations are asked to contact the American Red Cross. In addition, there are several local churches which are collecting donations including First United Methodist, First Christian Church and First Baptist Church in Rowlett and Lakepointe Church in Rockwall.

Mayor Gottel would like to encourage those impacted to let friends and family know they are safe by entering their name at the Red Cross Safe and Well website: www.redcross.org/safeandwell. Concerned family and friends can then search the list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well.”

The Rowlett Animal Shelter, located at 4402 Industrial, is accepting displaced pets. Citizens who have either lost an animal or found one are encouraged to call 972-412-6219 for information.

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