The Home Depot Helps With Tornado Cleanup

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ROWLETT—The recent tornados took a lot of folks’ peace of mind -- and more.  The Home Depot is trying to help people get some of that back.

They're doing it with Survive A Storm.  It’s basically a shelter in your home.

“When we get an alert that a large storm has gone through an area, we do start calling to make sure you are in your shelter and that you are okay,” Tornado Shelter Specialist Manager Lori Nicklas said.

“If we cannot make contact with one of our customers, or they indicate that for some reason they may be trapped in their shelter, we’re going to call first responders, we’re going to give them the exact geo-location of that unit, and we’re going to send them to them, and that is a free service we do for our customers,” Nicklas said.

The folks in orange are helping storm-stricken Rowlett in more ways than one.

Hundreds of The Home Depot employees from all over the metroplex cleaned up in Rowlett, Garland, and Glenn Heights.

“One of our core values is to give back to the community,” The Home Depot's Shane Moore said.  “Obviously, these people provide the roofs that are over our heads, for years and now, unfortunately, they don’t have a roof so we’re here trying to give back in any way we can.”

Dave Holl and his three dogs narrowly escaped.

“It blew the two bedrooms off the back, and in the hallway, I managed to grab onto two door handles on either side of the hall,” Holl said, "and sounded just like a jet engine started to wind up, and everything came through the house through that hallway.  We came through really smelling like a rose.”

“We run a big kayak program at the park over there with the city, and had additional kayaks here.  The tornado—they took off everywhere,” he added.

Despite the scene, and thanks to help from the community, this kayak foundation was not up a creek without a paddle.

“We’ve had kayaks brought back that were located two miles away from here, and gotten back over 95% of the boats, which is just phenomenal.  Through this foundation, we send kids to college. We’ve got the Baptist men tearing the house down.  Everybody has chipped in.  This has been phenomenal.

Its a tribute to the way we do stuff in Texas,” Holl said.