Tent City struggles to rebuild after epic dust storm
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -
Many Lubbock residents had their homes damaged by Monday's wind, but some residents of Tent City had their whole lives blown away.
There were no injuries, but the 25 people who live there say they just barely survived.
Cliff Van Loan has lived at Tent City - an ad hoc community for Lubbock's homeless - since March. Residents survived 60 mph winds last winter, but they were not prepared for "Brown Monday."
Even tents designed for bad weather couldn't hold up against the Great Haboob.
Van Loan says the only tent to survive was an old-fashioned Army model. "It's been through a couple wars," Van Loan said.
One resident was taking a nap in her tent when the storm hit.
"The tarp gave way and she was rolled up like a burrito. We tried to pull the tent off of her and it took five minutes for us to find her. The whole time she was yelling quit it, stop it and every time we were grabbing a hold of something to move it, something else would fall on her head," Van Loan said.
Most of the residents took shelter in the property's only permanent structure, but Rick Burrow was caught in the open.
"After I saw what it was I took off running," Burrow said. "I went to Wal-Mart right as it hit and everything went from day to night. I had already heard what the place looked like out here. Mine stood up but I need to take everything apart and retighten it."
Residents are picking up snapped poles and personal items, rebuilding what they can and still wondering where they're going to sleep.
"There is a rumor going around that we survived. I'm still trying to verify that," Van Loan said.
The Veterans Administration will help provide the residents with clothing for the approaching cold weather on Saturday, but they still need tents, preferably heavy duty tents that can withstand the wind.
You can bring donations directly to Tent City on Avenue A and 13th.