Tornadoes strike parts of city

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Corey Bermea (in foreground), San Antonio Credit Union Technology coordinator, and friends help him add a tarp to his house Feb. 21 after a tornado ripped his roof off the night of Feb. 19. Bermea said it took him 30 minutes to realize he was missing his roof and he was in shock. Photo by Brianna Rodrigue

The city starts to clean up after tornadoes damage homes and properties.

By Sasha D. Robinson

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Feb.19, the National Weather Service confirmed six tornadoes in Bexar, Guadalupe and Comal counties damaging more than 150 homes.

The tornadoes left 47,000 people without power and five minor injuries were reported, according to the Associated Press.

According to sanantonio.gov, whoever wants to volunteer for the tornado cleanup can help board homes, clear debris and tarp roofs by calling 311 to register.

The San Antonio Food Bank and city staff will coordinate volunteer registration and provide assignments for cleanup.

Residents are asked not to self-deploy to the affected areas.

Speech pathologist Lois Winkler rakes her yard Feb. 21 after debris blown into the yard from the tornado of the night of Feb. 19 in the Northeast Side of Bexar County by the Alamo Quarry. Winkler has been the homeowner since 1990 and her house had minor issues but a neighbors tree branches fell on top of her car. Photo by Brianna Rodrigue

Those who wish to donate can get in contact with the American Red Cross at 210-224-5151, the San Antonio Food Bank at 210-337-3663 and the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County at 210-352-7000.

For future storms, officials suggest being weather ready and prepared to protect your family in the event of tornadoes.

Check the forecast regularly to see which areas are at risk for tornadoes.

Sign up for notifications and know how the community sends warnings.

Create a family communications plan including an emergency meeting place and related information.

Practice the plan with a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching.

Consider having a safe room reinforced.

Help neighbors by encouraging everyone to prepare for the possibility of tornadoes.

During a tornado, listen to local news or NOAA Weather to stay updated about tornado watches and warnings.

During the night of Feb. 19, multiple tornados were reported in different areas in San Antonio. One area affected was the Northeast Side of Bexar County near the Alamo Quarry Market. Linda and Skipper were two of the streets affected in the area that had roofs ripped off and trees cut in half. Photo by Brianna Rodrigue

If there is a tornado warning, go to the basement, safe room or an interior room away from windows.

Follow your tornado drill and proceed to a tornado shelter location quickly and calmly.

If you are outside, seek shelter inside a sturdy building immediately if a tornado is approaching.

Sheds or storage facilities are not safe. Stay away from large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums. You also should stay away from windows.

If you are in a vehicle, drive to the nearest shelter. If you are not able to get out of your car, cover your head or abandon your car and seek shelter in a low-lying area, such as a ditch or ravine.

Download safety guides at www.nws.noaa.gov/os/severweather/resources/ttl6-10.pdf.

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