In the late afternoon of March 28, 2000, an atmospheric disturbance over Tarrant County, Texas led to a tornado warning. Large hail and rain soon followed and by 6:10 p.m. a rotation was spotted near Mecham Field.
By the end of the day, severe weather and tornadoes had killed five people and injured 48. Property damage in Fort Worth, Arlington and Grand Prairie was estimated at $500 million. The severe weather and tornadoes of March 28 led to a federal disaster declaration one week later.
“We encourage all north Texas residents to take steps to prepare now for the significant disaster risks we face. Know your risks, develop a family disaster plan and compile a disaster supply kit. These simple steps help families prepare and bring peace of mind in the process,” said Gary Jones, FEMA Acting Regional Director. “The storms of March 2000 reminded all of us that tornado damage is not limited to rural or sparsely populated areas.”
The federal disaster declaration of April 7, 2000, authorized temporary housing, disaster unemployment and grants for uninsured losses, as well as Small Business Administration disaster loans. State and federal assistance totaled more than $8 million.
The United States averages more than 800 tornadoes annually, with 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries. FEMA’s Web site www.fema.gov/hazards/tornadoes offers tornado risk and preparedness information.
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