Texas Gov. Rick Perry officially declared the counties of Dallas, Kaufman and Tarrant disaster zones in hopes of bringing as much aid as possible to the areas devastated by more than a dozen tornadoes in recent days.

The declaration came April 5, just two days after severe weather slammed the counties surrounding South Dallas and Fort Worth.

Damages are now being assessed for aid to be provided by the state to assist in restoring what has been damaged or destroyed.

“About 1:45 p.m. in the afternoon the sirens started sounding, alerting people of possible tornadoes. We activated the Emergency Operations Center to monitor the situation,” said Jose Luis Torres, spokesman and Spanish translator for the City of Dallas. “There were no fatalities, which is miraculous.”

The warnings of severe weather and tornadoes went out all day, lasting from 7:32 a.m. to 8:13 p.m. Central Time. Torres said he spent April 5 surveying areas of Lancaster County, one of the hardest hit by the storms and tornado activity.

Neighborhoods within Dallas City limits were impacted, though nothing in downtown Dallas was affected. Property owners in the Stage Coach Trail community of Dallas City experienced severe property damage.

“There were 47 homes damaged and 40 are uninhabitable. 7 of the 47 were completely destroyed,” said Frank Librio, Director of Media Relations for the City of Dallas.

Seven homes in Tioga neighborhood of Dallas City were also affected.

“There were about 50 tractor trailers that were literally blowing around in the wind,” said Librio, detailing the dangerous scene that took place at a local truck stop. “They were picked up and tossed around.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a total of 15 tornadoes swept through the areas. The paths of destruction ranged from less than 600 feet to eight miles, with winds spinning up to 130 miles per hour.

Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer