Dallas Tornado: Government To Spend $60 Million On Repairs And Recovery

The city of Dallas will be spending $60 million in recovery efforts after a tornado caused heavy damages destroying houses and downing power lines. 

The Dallas city council approved emergency funds to repair the damages that were caused by the tornado that ripped through parts of North Dallas on Oct. 20. According to the Dallas Morning News, $45 million of those costs, which include infrastructure damage, debris removal, and other such activities, were uninsured.

The largest share of the uninsured costs, which amounts to $30 million, would be utilized for repairing destroyed traffic signals, signs and streetlights, Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Reich said. According to her, an additional fund of $11.4 million will come from the city’s emergency services which currently has $35 million.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Division of Emergency Management completed a preliminary assessment to come up with the uninsured estimate of $45 million, which is more than $38.5 million to qualify for aid from FEMA. The city will, however, need President Donald Trump to declare the tornado a disaster in the state to get the aid. 

The city officials said that public agencies would qualify for the aid, while the homeowners with uninsured houses would not. Property owners will qualify for individual assistance only if the state is able to show that 800 uninsured homes were destroyed or sustained major damage in the tornado. Currently, 225 homes have been destroyed in the city according to estimates.

Homeowners who haven’t been contacted by the Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD), to re-appraise their properties should get in touch with them and keep any photos or insurance claim documents of the homes, Cheryl Jordan, DCAD community relations officer, said. 

County officials said that victims of the disaster would also get some tax relief. 

North Dallas was hit by the tornado in October with maximum wind speeds of 140 mph, near Love Field Airport before moving northeast. On its way, it damaged the Walnut Hill Recreation Center, Fire Station 41 and Fire Station 35 which were insured. The city expects a complete return of the insured damage of these structures which amounts to $14.6 million. 

If Dallas qualifies for public assistance, 75% of public agencies’ costs would be covered by the federal government. 

A rescue worker surveys the damage after a series of tornadoes ripped through the Dallas suburb of Lancaster, Texas, April 3, 2012. Photo: Reuters

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