On Sunday, October 20, 2019, an EF-3 (Enhanced Fujita Scale) tornado tore through the Dallas and Richardson areas of North Texas, causing significant damage to homes and businesses. The tornado devastated numerous shopping centers, warehouses, restaurants, schools, churches, and at least 1,000 homes. As a result of the tornado, tens of thousands of residents and thousands of businesses were left without power. It is Nelson’s understanding that surveyors with the National Weather Service determined that the tornado was on the ground for more than 15 miles and had a damage path measuring up to three-quarters of a mile wide in certain areas.

The National Weather Service indicated that at least nine other tornadoes struck North Texas on the same day. However, of the reported tornados, the North Dallas tornado was rated the strongest, with peak winds reported to be at or around 140 miles per hour; the strongest twister to hit the area since 1976. According to the Insurance Council of Texas, the tornadoes that passed through North Texas on October 20, 2019, will most likely be the costliest tornado outbreak in Texas’ history. Estimates thus far are indicating reported tornado damage to be in the two billion dollar range.


Nelson Forensics, LLC (Nelson) responded immediately to the requests of clients to perform damage evaluations throughout the North Texas area. For the past 25 years, Nelson’s Catastrophe Response Teams have evaluated hundreds of buildings and structures following similar tornado events nationwide. Nelson’s engineers and architects have evaluated and assessed the immediate life safety aspects of affected buildings, determined the extent of damage due to tornadoes, and compared the same to applicable building code requirements for remediation. Further, Nelson’s professionals have developed scopes of repair for damaged buildings, when applicable.