Survivor Reflects on Garland Tornado

The Record found Dewayne Nannette on Facebook not long after the tornado flattened his property. In an interview with Ciaran Devane, a member of the National Weather Service’s meteorology team in Fort Worth, he explained what that was all about. (Tornado touches down on Garland’s The Bridge neighbourhood on 12/30/2017) (Published Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018)

When Dominick and Lauren Saxton returned home on Dec. 30 after their Christmas vacation they were shocked to see the damage. A tornado touched down in the neighborhood, tossing debris like a pile of toys.

“It’s surreal, like everything you see up there on the wall, it’s gone,” said Dominick.

The couple said everything appeared to be intact in their home until Sunday. A friend and neighbor knocked on their door to inform them of a tornado warning.

“How does it hit you when you see how many years has she had to live through (a tornado). You can’t even put it into words,” said Dominick.

As they stood on the front porch of their home on The Bridge Lane, a storm moving through the area appeared to be heading toward them.

“No way I thought it was going to come across the street,” said Dominick.

The Record found Dewayne Nannette on Facebook not long after the tornado flattened his property. In an interview with Ciaran Devane, a member of the National Weather Service’s meteorology team in Fort Worth, he explained what that was all about.

(Tornado touches down on Garland’s The Bridge neighbourhood on 12/30/2017) (Published Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018)

“The process of survey is pretty strict. And what we like to say is that the storm never saw the path of residence. If the tornado did hit an area it’s finding the path of residence; no personal homes were damaged. We can use that to describe the length of time from when the survey process started and ended,” he said.

With a possible tornado still in the air and based on the history of all storms, Nannette thought the situation would become more urgent.

“I was just trying to stay calm; even though I was nervous I’m glad I let her know right away and tried to get the house secured and once I knew there wasn’t another (storm) coming across, just kind of let everything go and just focused on our two girls,” he said.

But he was still very worried.

“I came out onto the deck when I was in the house that I’m not even lying to you I couldn’t get to my car and I didn’t even know if the tornado was still going to come this way,” he said.

Dewayne then reached out to his sister and two neighbors who live about 100 yards away. He asked them to keep an eye on their properties as conditions might change.

Devane responded to their request.

“He said we are committed and do have radar instruments. So we were able to look at the entire area and find a storm that would have gone directly over that property and you guys were basically able to observe what that storm had been doing over this area for a couple hours leading up to where you observed it at,” he said.

Photos From Garland Tornado Relief Effort

Ultimately Dewayne said he didn’t know whether the storm would actually hit his property, but the next day he did know where the tornado had been. It was less than a mile away.

“I saw that a lot of our trees had been just literally picked up and thrown away and snapped in half and whatnot. I just had my concern that maybe this is a tornado and we needed to get to the shelter. Luckily as soon as I noticed the funnel cloud, we were there and off we went,” he said.

Thanks to the monitoring and warning system of the National Weather Service and other experts, the extent of the damage was limited.

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