November 17th tornado outbreak t-shirt now available for purchase - click here to order!

Storm Assist Makes $12866 Donation To Garland and Rowlett, TX

12825547_1296539357029252_1831320117_n (1)

$6433 donation to the Garland Texas Tornado Relief Fund.

Like their counterparts in Holly Springs, Miss. three days earlier, severe weather and tornadoes had to be the last thing on the minds of residents of Garland and Rowlett, Tex.

Unfortunately, their communities were impacted in a big way, one day after Christmas, by a significant tornado.

The tornado, which brought estimated winds of 170-180mph along its 13 mile path, inflicted EF-4 damage in Garland and Rowlett.  Tragically, due to both its strength and the fact that it occurred after dark, nine people lost their lives, with 12 deaths and well over $1.2 billion in damage claims being attributed to the tornado outbreak.

However, many who survived the tornado ultimately lost their livelihoods.  By all accounts, many homes and buildings were complete losses, leaving dozens of Metroplex residents homeless.

CM, Mayor, Chamber Pres - Donations (1)

$6433 donation to Rebuild Rowlett.

With dozens of storm chasers tracking the tornado, it was relatively well documented despite being a “postseason” and nocturnal tornado.  Many people wanting to help, came together in a big way, raising almost $13,000 for the two communities.  Storm chasers Ric Burney and Justin Terveen met with Mayor Douglas Athas and Beth Dattomo of Garland, and Todd Gottel of Rowlett, to present the cities’ relief funds with financial assistance from the storm chasing community.

In this situation, Storm Assist worked alongside both communities, as they setup formal fund programs for distribution, to ensure that every dollar donated goes directly where it’s intended and not a single cent elsewhere. It took a bit longer to get the donations out but we’re 100% confident that every bit will help those in need. Rebuild Rowlett and the Garland Texas Tornado Relief Fund are the respective names of both funds established by both cities.


Credit: National Weather Service

“Damage is still quite evident in the areas where the tornado hit,” Burney said.  “Roof and sign damage was prominent all around the area.  Entire apartment complexes were rendered uninhabitable and are in the process of being torn down.”


“It’s always amazing to see how many people are willing to lend a hand to help those in need. I’m constantly humbled by the generosity of our supporters. Organizations like Storm Assist wouldn’t exist, if it weren’t for the wonderful people that help make our core mission a reality. As an organization, we realize that recovery happens over years, not a few days, and we’re happy that we’re able to help speed up the recovery of those affected by natural disasters.” – Storm Assist President, Darin Brunin.

Storm Assist, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization, was founded and is operated by storm chasers who volunteer their time to give back to communities ravaged by the very severe weather they seek.  To date, the organization has raised well over $50,000 for storm relief, and 100 percent of proceeds go directly to victims of severe weather.  To learn more about Storm Assist, please visit