Gov. Abbott requests federal help for North Texas tornado victims

Tuesday marked one month since tornadoes swept across North Texas, with work still underway by homeowners and various levels of the government to rebuild.

Governor Greg Abbott formally requested a federal disaster declaration for the Texas counties affected by the December tornadoes. The storm hit on the evening of Dec. 26 killing 13 people and causing up to $1 billion worth of damage.

The North Texas counties included in the request are Dallas, Ellis, Henderson, Kaufman, Navarro, Rockwall and Van Zandt.

Joshua Leverett has put his small business on hold in order to get his Rowlett house back in order.

“My wife's pregnant and she wants to get into the house quickly and I'm thinking how can we get back here when it's going to look like this for a long time,” Leverett said.

He's been at the home every day since the tornadoes torn through his street.

Sky4 flew over communities still trying to put their lives back together in the wake of the storm.

Bright blue tarps still cover several houses in this neighborhood in Garland, with some homes clearly being reconstructed while others still sit in shambles -- too damaged to be repaired.

Dec. 26 was Garland resident Brian Crain’s birthday. A month later, he’s working on getting his house back together.

“Yeah this is home even though it doesn't look like home it's still here. We’ll make it back to a home for sure,” Crain said.

In Red Oak, the tornado's path is eerily clear from the air. Rows of white foundations are visible where houses sat just a month ago.

On either side of the path, the damaged roofs of houses spared by the twister are still covered and only a few heavily damaged houses are left uncovered. As clean-up efforts continue, it’s possible some of those houses may be torn down instead of reconstructed.

In the town of Copeville south of Lake Lavon, only the shell of a gas station remains where two people were killed. After the storms passed, the station site was as a meeting place for volunteers offering help with recovery.

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