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Forney Credits Warning System With Saving Lives

A 2x4 sliced through the windshield of a SUV during the storm. The car sits next to a destroyed home in Forney.

The City of Forney is crediting its emergency warning network with saving lives when a tornado touched down Tuesday.

Some 95 homes in the Diamond Creek area were damaged, some completely demolished, but amazingly no one was seriously hurt.

Assistant City Manager Gina Nash says in addition to sounding an outdoor alarm, the City was messaging residents about the storm before it arrived.

Nash: We have a system we call Black Board where you can sign up on our website and you can receive either a text, emails or a call from the city when something is happening. We only use that system in case of emergencies so people know when we’re calling we’re serious. I think that’s one of the number one things that helped save lives.

Nash says the greatest need now in Forney is for donations to help the families who’ve lost their homes.

Nash: I know they are needing items for babies: diapers, formula, babies clothing. Eventually we are going to need things, though, that are more for longer term that we don’t really have a handle on. We will need things like furniture, more things for people to rebuild their lives. Of course, monetary donations are welcome. They can do that through the Red Cross on their website.

Nash says many Forney families displaced by the tornado are staying in area churches or have moved in with relatives. Students from Crosby Elementary will be out of class for the rest of the week because of damage to the school but are scheduled to return Monday.

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.