The recent violent storms in Texas left neighborhoods in shambles, causing the communities throughout Dallas-Fort Worth to be extremely damaged.
“It was just large swath after large swath of devastation,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott, referring to the seven confirmed tornadoes that hit East Texas earlier this month. According to NBCDFW, the storm left four people dead: 57-year-old Kenneth Hughes of Van Zandt County, 51-year-old Russell Barlow of Canton, 49-year-old Lucretia Sykes of Fort Worth, and 39-year-old James Clayton Young of Alba.
All seven tornados struck the Dallas-Forth Worth area within three hours, between 4:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. The highest level tornado that hit the area was the third tornado around 5:29 p.m. and reached a four on the Enhanced Fujita scale.
“It’s heartbreaking and upsetting to say the least,” added Canton, Texas Mayor Lou Ann Everett.
The storm cut a path of destruction that was 35 miles long and 15 miles wide and completely ransacked a Canton Dodge dealership, flipping over trucks and sedans as the tornado passed through.
“It hit so hard, so fast,” said Texas resident Ernestine Cook. “I’ve never seen anything like it after 22 years of living here.”
“We have a lot of injuries,” announced a dispatcher during the chaos.
Sadly, even when something as destructive as a major tornado storm hits an area, homeowners are still at risk of even more financial damage, this time, however, it’s by fraudulent criminals.
“It’s our recommendation that homeowners with roof damage following recent hail storms should take plenty of time and do their homework before hiring a roof contractor,” added Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and Chief Engineering Officer of Central East Texas’ Better Business Bureau. “Failing to do so could cause both your home and wallet to take a serious beating.”
The Tyler Morning Telegraph states that criminals often contact homes that were damaged after major storms in hopes of taking advantage of their need to receive immediate assistance.
Strong national warranty companies provide quality coverage and protection for 10 years on qualified structural defects from the time you close on a property, so be sure to work with professionals prior to any storm and certainly afterward. The average American homeowner uses 40% less natural gas than they did four decades ago, but criminals are also looking to offer fraudulent energy services after certain damages, too.
First-time homeowners, who aren’t as experienced in dealing with contractors, warranty companies, and repair services, should especially look out for these fraudulent scams following any major storm. A whole 33% of people purchasing homes are, in fact, first-time homebuyers, so it’s more important than ever for them to protect their homes and wallets.