Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Tours Tornado Damage in North Texas

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Thursday, April 05, 2012  •  Lancaster, Texas  •  Speech

Thank you all for being here.

I'd also like to say thanks to the Lancaster Mayor and City Manager, who are here with us.

Like many local officials, they've been putting in some long hours the last couple days and doing a great job for the people of Lancaster and North Texas.

This morning, I took an aerial tour of some of the areas hardest hit by this week's tornados, and spoke with officials on the state and local level about where we are and what's next.

Witnessing this sort of destruction always reminds us just how quickly lives can change.

Where just two days ago people were going about the business of living their lives; today, they're just thankful to be alive.

Standing in the rubble of their homes, retrieving mementos and irreplaceable personal treasures, all they know is that it could have been even worse.

In places, recovery plans are under way, but for hundreds of families in these communities, it's going to be a long, slow struggle to return to normal.

We've seen the images and videos from these storms, with truck trailers being lifted and thrown around like toys, and funnel clouds bearing down on highways, homes and schools.

We've heard stories of survival and grace under pressure, including the story of a Forney grandmother who pulled her grandson back from the tornado's pull, keeping him and two other children alive.

And the Lancaster pastor who moved dozens of children, some of them newborns, into a windowless room to provide critical shelter from the storm.

Their determination and quick thinking saved lives.

These are just two stories, two heroes, among countless others who could be found throughout these communities.

Two more examples of Texas neighbors helping neighbors and communities coming together in the face of adversity.

Of course, when it comes to grace under pressure, there's really no equal to our dedicated first responders, and I thank them for their efforts and for their determination.

Texas has an emergency response team that's truly second to none, and once again, they were prepared to move into action the moment danger presented itself.

We're a long way from finished with this year's tornado season, so I'd like to emphasize, yet again, the importance each of us can play in our own safety.

As soon as you hear about severe weather in your area, I urge anyone in disaster's path to find a safe place and stay there, heed warnings, and follow instructions from emergency personnel and local officials.

As always, don't travel anywhere unless it's absolutely necessary, so the streets can be clear for emergency vehicles that have important, life-saving work to do, so you don't put yourself in a dangerous situation.


In Their Words »
Pastor Glenn Young
Cedar Valley Christian Center
Governor's Initiatives:
Disaster Preparedness »
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