Tornadoes affect North Texas residents

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Photo courtesy of the Dallas Morning News

On Oct. 20, 10 confirmed tornadoes touched down in North Texas causing extensive damage to businesses and residential areas. While the University of Dallas campus was virtually untouched by the tornadoes, members of the UD community endured damaged homes and cars, lost power and longer commutes.

According to the National Weather Service, the wind speed of the tornadoes ranged from 80 to 140 mph. Though there are no reported deaths as a result of the weather, many people were left displaced or without power.

Assistant Classics Professor Dr. Theresa Danze and her husband Associate Drama Professor Kyle Lemieux live in the Bradford Estates neighborhood along Walnut Hill Lane. 

They had been watching the Dallas Cowboys game earlier that night with their four children, Aidan, Willa, Edith and Oliver when the power started going out. 

In an interview, Danze credited her weather radio for giving her enough time to move them all to safety. The family rode out the storm from within a coat closet. 

“We heard things hitting the windows [and] hitting the walls … and then our ears started popping … It sounded to me like traffic,” said Danze.

“We said our Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, prayer to the guardian angel, and by the time we were finished with that, [the house] was silent.”

Danze and Lemieux’s home suffered broken windows and roof damage, but they received support from their childrens’ schools and other UD families. A friend of Danze’s set up a meal train and they have had help carpooling. 

Meanwhile, Assistant Athletic Trainer Monica Menchaca lives in an apartment complex around Greenville and Intersetate-635. The complex was in the path of an EF3 tornado, a tornado with wind speeds between 136 and 165 mph. Some of the apartments are now uninhabitable. 

“I saw one of the carports behind my car just get lifted up and fly, and then later, it was just like twisted,” said Menchaca. “That’s kind of how it was like throughout the complex. All the carports were damaged, windows were blown out in the cars that didn’t have the carports, trees were down everywhere, our entrance and exit gates were completely bent in the opposite directions.”

Menchaca also said she saw commented on seeing several fallen chimneys while observing the aftermath of the tornado. Her apartment was not severely damaged, but sheMenchaca was unable to stay at her home for two days due to a power outage. 

In the end, the affected families are safe and grateful, but now deal with the aftermath of the weather. 

“We’re okay,” said Danze “The landscape in our neighborhood is definitely different. All of our regular haunts, the pizza place, donut shop, the gym, they’re all gone. It’s tough to see.”

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