FEMA assesses North Texas tornado damage

FEMA officials spent Wednesday evaluating how much damage an EF 4 tornado did in Rowlett and will soon determine if help could be on the way to both homeowners and taxpayers.

The first stop for FEMA was a water tower on Pebble Beach Road that will have to be demolished and replaced at a cost of more than $1 million.

“Early estimates are telling us it has to come down,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “If you tried to go on the cheap and fix that and had a catastrophic failure, then you'd have extensive flooding, and potential loss of life. Engineers will look at it more detail, and that could change.”

Jenkins said it's clear to him that the county will meet the required $8.4 million in uninsured damage to taxpayer property.

When it comes to help for homeowners there are a lot of factors that go into the decision making process -- one is if the state receives a federal disaster declaration. Then help will only be available for people who are uninsured or under insured.

FEMA officials will be out again assessing damage on Thursday. Officials could not give any estimate on how long it could take before they determine if federal help will be on the way for the area.

The National Weather Service said Wednesday a total of 12 tornados hit North Texas on Saturday – up from their count of 10. The tornadoes added to the confirmed list were in the Hillsboro and Maypearl areas.

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