New dangers exist in wake of storms

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It was an extra frightening Halloween for local residents affected by last Saturday’s storms, but law enforcement says storm-damaged property brings new dangers into neighborhoods.

At least one home in Friendswood was left with major damage after a reported tornado early Saturday morning near FM 2351. Though the roof collapsed, the home’s occupants were not home, police reported.

Meanwhile, damage such as downed trees and fences also was reported at more than 30 other homes in the Renwick Park area. Members of Friendswood’s Lighthouse Charity Team arrived before dawn Saturday to begin serving meals to local first responders, as well as residents in the Alvin area displaced by the storm.

Friendswood Police are now asking residents to call and report any door-to-door solicitors not permitted by the city, as well as any suspicious activity.

The department has increased patrols in subdivisions damaged by the storm, and is also warning non-residents against what they call “storm-chasing” contractors – those soliciting business door-to-door.

Police issued a notice this week warning residents with damage to homes, yards and businesses to be keenly aware of contractor fraud adding: “Some companies, whether they offer tree removal, roofing or construction services, will travel many miles to cities hit by a storm after seeing news coverage. The reason they drive so far may not be just to get work, but to prey on people who are vulnerable.”

Some of these companies take large down payments and don’t return, do low-quality work or use inexpensive materials, invent damage caused by the weather to increase bills or offer to pay a homeowner’s insurance deductible to lure their business.

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