Sunday, October 20, 2019 shook up my life and the lives of many others across the DFW area. It started out as a normal day, with me asking my wife to drive me to work, because I didn't have contacts to see. I knew how to sweet talk her into making that 25 minute drive to Allen and back, by reminding her of the rain that I had seen in the forecast. We were expecting storm to roll in at about 7pm in Dallas, so I knew I had to put a move on it at closing time.
8:15 PM CST comes and I am headed out of Allen into Dallas. The sky was decorated with dark clouds that had a green glow to them. My wife even made the comment that it looked like hell was about to open up. It did.
The lightning in the sky was like a light show. The air was still and there was only low rumbles of thunder, so we assumed this would be a night of thunderstorms but nothing too scary. Then about 9:30 pm cst as we were cooking dinner, the lights began to flicker, and we noticed the tornado sirens roaring outside. A friend stopped over and attempted to head back out before the rain came, and as he moved his car forward a few feet, the wind began to pick up. Suddenly the entire brick side of our neighboring apartment building came crashing down. Our friends ran in the house to take cover, and we saw the wind take the roof off of the same building with a family of 4 inside. It was over shortly after. We knew the building we were looking at was damaged terribly but we were unsure of any other damage in the area.
We were in shock! Was that a tornado? On another Sunday? Is this a conspiracy? We began to walk the property to survey damage since our power was out. The building across from us was missing all of its bricks from the side of the building, and was now on cars. We had to help the family on the 3rd floor evacuate because their roof was now gone and debris collapsed inside.
Inside the complex, many of our neighbors on the third floors once had balconys that were now nothing but piles of bricks on top of cars and crumpled debris.
It continued to rain throughout the night, leaving one neighbor afraid because her apartment was slowly falling apart. One would hope that this nightmare would began to come to an end at daylight when management was able to assess the damage. Instead of empathy, the tenants were met with security guards escorting them out of the leasing office for questioning whether they could be let out of their leases due to unlivable apartments.
Not to mention this apartment complex was also affected by the heavy storms that blew through Dallas back in July. Workers were "finishing up repairs" earlier in the day on Sunday. Tenants are concerned that after this last round of storms that there is no way possible their units are still livable. Many are complaining of moldy smells, broken windows, missing walls and roofs (which have since be replaced by boards) and electrical issues.
While voicing concerns to management, they have refused to answer any questions. Yet, in a botched effort to show concern, Apartment Management posted a memo online that they would have water and peanut butter sandwiches in the office for those who were in need. We never expected to get the insensitive handout we got. The apartment manager was seen riding with security around the complex yelling from the truck "Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Although one may say that those in need should have been thankful, it was more about the lack of empathy for the people who have just gone through something so devasting for a second time.
These people were left in a vulnerable state, as breakins began to happen. Many didn't feel safe in their homes, so they sought shelter near by, with family, friends, or open shelters. However, those with no where else to go, were left to wait it out. Many watched the quick fix roofing go up, but many are now afraid that it will never get the repairs it needs. With only bandaids being put over damage, many are wondering what will be the final straw with these buildings. It has also raised questions about the overall foundation and structural damage, and whether or not it is safe. Now the clock begans and hopefully rebuilding the correct way can begin.
What would you do if your roof or wall was blown out of your apartment? Do you know what to do?