Nine tornadoes destroyed more than 1,000 buildings in four North Texas counties Saturday.
The storms killed 11 people and left many families displaced. While rescue teams assess and clear damage, various organizations are accepting donations, taking volunteers, or offering shelter for residents affected.
The American Red Cross has set up three shelters for North Texas residents.
- Steadham Elementary School, 6200 Danridge Rd, Rowlett, TX
- Longbranch Elementary, 6631 FM 1387, Midlothian, TX
- Gale Field Recreation Center, 1701 Dairy Road, Garland, TX
Many pet owners are trying to locate animals lost in the storms. The Facebook group Lost & Found Pets From North Texas Tornadoes is sharing photos and posting updates on reunions.
The State Bar of Texas has opened a toll-free hotline for low-income North Texas residents affected by the tornadoes. It'll connect people with Texas lawyers who have volunteered to provide free, limited legal help during the rebuilding process. If a person qualifies for assistance, the lawyers can help with issues such as: replacing lost documents, questions about insurance, avoiding contractor scams, landlord-tenant problems and price gouging. The number to call is (800) 504-7030.
The health services company Optum is offering a free emotional-support help line. The toll-free number, 866-342-6892, will be open and staffed 24/7.
Two people died in the small town of Copeville. A third person, an infant, died in nearby Blue Ridge. Lavon City Hall is accepting donations of gift cards to distribute to Copeville, Nevada, Blue Ridge, Farmersville and surrounding areas. According to the Lavon Area Chamber of Commerce, city hall has reached capacity on donations of other items. Gift cards can be mailed to: Lavon City Hall, P.O. Box 340, Lavon, TX 75166.
First Baptist Church in Farmersville is open to residents affected by power outages and storm damage.
Education Station Academy in Lavon is offering a free week of child care for Copeville residents. One of the town’s main daycare centers was destroyed Saturday.
Officials say Garland was one of the hardest hit. An EF4 tornado destroyed more than 600 homes and apartments, killed eight people and injured fifteen.
The city was initially taking donations at Garland schools and for first responders, but have suspended them for now due to lack of room. Officials are directing people wishing to volunteer or donate to the city’s Recovers page.
Twenty-three people were reported injured in Rowlett. The National Weather Service says damage indicates at least an EF3 tornado hit there.
The city of Rowlett has also set up a Recovers page for those wishing to volunteer or donate services.
Storm victims can visit the following locations for items such as food, clothing, and personal hygiene items:
- First Baptist Church Rowlett, 4309 Main Street
- First United Methodist Church, 4405 Main Street
- Connection Community Church (C3), 3700 Chaha Road
- Cornerstone Assembly of God Church, 8200 Schrade Road
Rockwall residents have taken to Facebook to locate pets that went missing during the storm. The Rockwall Animal Shelter is taking in animals found.
The Ellis County Emergency Management Office has confirmed 171 homes were damaged in the county.
Those wishing to donate money can text "ellisrelief" to 41444. All funds go directly to Ellis County victims.
Storm damage has forced Red Oak ISD officials to relocate students from Shields Elementary to Red Oak Junior High School beginning in January. People wishing to donate or volunteer can reach district officials by email. The Acorn Community and Family Services Center is accepting donations. You can find the full list of donations needed here.
This post will be updated.