One year later, Rowlett tornado victim sees new home


A Rowlett mother is hoping to move into a new home nearly one year after a tornado damaged her duplex and a demolition company mistakenly tore it down.

It’s been a difficult year for Lindsay Diaz. She and her 17-month-old son have been living in a rental home just a few blocks away from where her original home once stood. Her goal was to be settled by now, but pending litigation and a lack of insurance delayed the progress.

When we first introduced you to Diaz back in march a concrete foundation was all that was left of her duplex located off Calypso Drive in Rowlett.

READ MORE: Couple sues Rowlett for bulldozing tornado-damaged homes

Nearly a year later, a new home is beginning to take shape. Getting to this point hasn't been easy, but Diaz is trying to make the best of it.

“It’s been pretty rough just trying to make ends meet and make all of these decisions,” she said.

The duplex, which Diaz shared with another family, was damaged by a tornado the day after Christmas. Alan Cutter is the other owner. Both families had temporary moved out and were waiting for their insurance companies to come up with repair estimates when a demolition crew mistakenly leveled the place.

“There was this one point, it was about a week when I had to miss some work,” Diaz explained. “It all came down on top. I finally said you know what, be strong. Just keep moving forward.”

To date, Diaz says no settlement has been reached. She says a lawsuit was filed, and they are still in litigation.

Underinsured and unsure of what to do next, Diaz was finally able to secure a low-interest disaster loan. The hope is to have the new, two-story home complete by April.

“As soon as I saw the foundation go down and the walls go up, it’s real,” she said.

All Diaz wants for Christmas now is to see her son settled in his new room.

“There’s been a lot of good things happen up until this point, so this is the best gift,” she said. “It’s going to take a few months to complete it. I was hoping we would at least start framing before Christmas, and we did. So I did get that wish granted.”

Diaz says the city of Rowlett agreed to rezone her property, allowing for her to build a single-family home.

The family who lived on the other side of the duplex did the same thing and have already rebuilt their home.

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