Maintenance and facilities workers are unsung heroes of storm’s aftermath

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Just hours after the tornado ripped through north and northeast Dallas Sunday night, Dallas ISD Maintenance and Facilities workers were on the ground assessing the damage to district schools.

“I’ve been through hurricanes and widespread damage, but I’ve never seen anything like that,” said David Bates, Executive Director of Maintenance and Facility Services. “You could see the tornado had just picked up and tossed around cars. It even lifted up a storage container and threw it on the roof of a house.”

After surveying the initial damage, Bates and his team met after midnight to strategize on where crews should deploy the following morning. At 3 a.m., Bates and a member of his team went into Edward Cary Middle School and Walnut Hill Elementary School to shut off the gas and water that were leaking.

On Monday, Maintenance and Facility crews started working extraordinarily hard at 12 accessible schools. Crews removed damaged trees and branches, cleared the debris, and repaired roofs; all while working with auditors and contractors to assess the overall damage.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Maintenance and Facilities workers prepared the buildings that are serving students who displaced by the storm.

“I’m very thankful for our great team that has stepped up to do everything they can to address the aftermath of this tornado and storm,” Bates said. “They are so often the unsung heroes.”

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