The first step to getting federal disaster aid will take place this week after 10 tornadoes hit North Texas.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will deploy teams in the area to assess damage from the outbreak.
Teams were scheduled to look at damage in Garland on Monday, Richardson on Tuesday and Dallas on Wednesday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted Sunday night.
Garland was hit by an EF-2 tornado that produced estimated wind speeds of up to 135 mph, according to the National Weather Service. The tornado traveled 2.5 miles and had a maximum width of 265 yards.
Dallas was hit by an EF-3 tornado that produced estimated wind speeds of up to 140 mph. That tornado traveled more than 15 miles from northwest Dallas into Richardson and was three-quarters of a mile across at its widest.
FEMA must conduct preliminary damage assessments before an area can receive federal aid. The teams’ assessments will determine whether Dallas County and the state meet the requirements for President Donald Trump to issue a disaster declaration for public assistance.
If Trump were to issue the declaration, public assistance would serve as a reimbursement program, offering federal funds to communities affected by the tornadoes. Those funds could be used by state and local governments and nonprofit organizations to pay for debris removal, repair damaged or destroyed infrastructure and fund emergency protective measures to protect life and property.
The public assistance program is different from the individual assistance program, which gives funds directly to people affected by a natural disaster.
Dallas, Garland and Richardson were not the only cities hit by tornadoes last week. Storms also produced four EF-0 twisters in Allen, Ferris, Kaufman County and Wills Point; and four EF-1 tornadoes in Kaufman County, Midlothian, Rowlett and Rockwall.
With estimated damage of $2 billion, last week’s outbreak is the costliest tornado event in Texas history according to the Insurance Council of Texas. That figure could rise as more commercial and business claims are assessed.
The city of Dallas announced plans Sunday night to open a multiagency resource center this week at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 9509 Midway Road. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday.
The center will serve as a central location for those affected by last week’s storms to get help from government agencies and organizations such as Catholic Charities, North Texas Baptist Men and others.