Last Call for Personal Items Left Behind in North Texas Twisters

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GARLAND — Dennis Aldridge remembers when he first saw the damage, “It was like a bomb was dropped, and everything was just torn apart.”

Well, that’s exactly what it still looks like now, nearly a month after the EF4 tornado tore through Garland.  The storm tossed cars off the Bush Turnpike and wiped out houses and apartment buildings. And it also trashed Aldridge’s storage business, GT Storage.

“It’s pretty cleaned up now,” Aldridge said Thursday. “But it was total destruction.”

Yeah, Mother Nature did a number on the stuff that was stored at GT — from children’s toys to classic cars, and everything in between. The facility has to be rebuilt from the ground up, and to do that, everything’s gotta go.

Aldridge says he’ll keep the place open to customers until Sunday and will let them in by appointment for a week after that.  But at the end of the month, whatever’s left will be considered abandoned and will be destroyed.

“I would’ve done whatever it took to keep it,” Aldridge said. “But Mother Nature, you can’t control.”

Too true.  And it wasn’t just stuff that was scattered by the storm. Garland Animal Services took in nearly 30 pets from the affected area.  Many of their owners showed up quickly to reclaim them, but close to half of them didn’t.

“Holding animals long term in animal shelters is not good for them,” said Garland’s Animal Services Manager Uriel Villalpando. “We believe that if these pets had owners, those owners would have been here by now.”

So, on Tuesday, the dozen-or-so remaining “tornado pets” were put up for adoption.  By Thursday, only two cats and three dogs were still waiting.

“If there’s anybody out there interested in making a difference in these animals’ lives,” Villalpando said, “we encourage them to come to the animal shelter and adopt these animals.”

Hey, after what these guys have been through, they could sure use a forever home.

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