Cleanup Begins in Storm Ravaged Areas

05-11-06 - Grayson and Collin Counties have been declared local disaster areas and officials in both counties say the rebuilding efforts from Tuesday night’s tornadoes could take weeks, even months. Emergency response crews say Wednesday brings an entirely different mission that Tuesday.

Now that all lives have been accounted for, the clean up process begins. Dozens of crews were on hand Wednesday in the devastated areas to start the process. Officials say with some houses buried under several trees, their biggest obstacle will be setting up procedures for hauling off debris. They are hoping that by declaring local disaster area, state and federal governments will step in and approve financial assistance as early as next week.

At least 38 structures in Collin County and 50 in Grayson County were damaged in some way, with most of them being homes. Thursday, more families returned, some seeing the wreckage for the first time. Collin County officials do not yet have an estimate on the cost of Tuesday’s night storms, but just north in Grayson County, Judge Tim McGraw estimates about $2.5 million in damage to structures alone.

Collin County officials say about 95 percent of the storm victims do have homeowners’ insurance and in Grayson County, only 50% do.