Jewish community members share tornado stories
Perhaps the tree she loves the most is the one that Tina and her husband planted on the occasion of their son Jonathan’s bar mitzvah.
‘If it can be rebuilt, it’s not tsurris’

By Sharon Wisch-Ray

The EF3 tornado that terrorized Dallas residents for about 30 minutes Sunday night, damaged many and destroyed some homes in the Jewish community. Reports of significant property losses on Janmar, Palomar and Currin, Northaven, Lavendale near the JCC and around Walnut Hill and Midway were reported. 

Near the JCC

TJP food columnist Tina Wasserman and her husband Dr. Richard Wasserman were watching the Cowboy game when they heard the sirens sound. Tina told Richard that she thought that the storm might be nearby and they should take cover. 

“We closed all the doors to the hallway and sat in the hallway in chairs. You could hear some rain coming and then no rain. Then all of a sudden my ears started popping. And I said wow that’s so interesting and it was dead silent. Then all of a sudden I hear chun, chun, chun. Not like a train. And then you heard things pelting the house.” The door Wasserman was leaning against was rattling.

The power went out immediately and when it seemed the storm had passed the Wassermans got up and started looking around for damage. At first Tina thought the damage was minimal, her office seemed OK. When they opened the door to her daughter’s room she realized that the window had blown out and a tree hit it and there was glass everywhere.

Eventually, the Wassermans ventured outside. Wasserman, who lost all her trees, said all her neighbors were home, they were all accounted for and relatively unharmed. The house across the street from her was virtually leveled and that homeowner suffered a broken ankle. 

Wasserman said she will miss her trees the most. When the Wassermans moved into the home on Lavendale in 1982, there was only one pecan tree on the west side of  their home. That tree seems to have weathered the storm.

In addition to losing their trees in the front and backyards, the Wassermans lost a good part of their roof and a tree fell on Tina’s car.

Debris is strewn across their once magnificent backyard.

Inside their home detritus from the ceiling and attic is scattered about from the rain that came later after the tornado.

Even so, Wasserman realizes they are incredibly lucky.

“In my family we say tsurris [trouble] is when time and money can’t fix it. So, this is not tsurris. It is frustrating, it is nerve-wracking and it is very sad.”

Walnut Hill and Midway Area

Janet and Robert Elkin live right Midway between Royal and Walnut Hill.

“We knew it was going to be bad rain. It wasn’t until my phone went off that we realized there was a tornado warning and my husband and I went in the closet.”

Janet said the sound was like nothing she’d every heard.

“I’ve been down here 29 years. I can’t even describe what the sound was like of the wind. It was unbelievable. You knew it was something different.”

Janet said that most of the damage to her house consists of roof damage, tree loss and broken windows. Power lines in the neighborhood are down.

“This is what nature can do. You don’t give it the street cred you should.”

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