There is a new statewide hotline number for anyone impacted by this week’s storms in Texas. The number is 877-500-8645.
Multiple confirmed tornadoes, as well as flooding and severe storms across the state over the past six days. Some of the hardest hit communities include Cisco, Decatur, Valley View, Gainesville, Whitesboro, Denton and Van, and an estimated 14,000 people are without power throughout the state. The Red Cross has opened six shelters and continues to support those affected by severe weather, including ensuring families impacted have the lodging, food and necessary supplies they need.
Nearly 900 meals and snacks were served yesterday, and already more than 70 disaster workers – including many volunteers – are on the scene, with more to come. Many emergency response vehicles are circulating impacted areas, and Red Cross workers are continuing damage assessments to plan for the full extent of service delivery. Hundreds of homes are thought to be damaged or destroyed. The Red Cross continues to staff emergency operations centers and coordinating with nonprofit and government partners.
"I went out with my fiancé and our daughter to get some ice cream when I heard the sirens," said Scruggs. "I knew right away that we needed to get to shelter." While calling his mother to tell her to get into the hallway, he sped with his young family to his mother's house on Bois d' Arc. Seconds after they dove into the hallway with the rest of the family, the tornado literally picked up their entire house and moved it from its foundation.
"We threw blankets over my daughter and my younger brothers while Dad and I tried to hold the doors closed," Scruggs reflected. "We barely made it to the hallway in time." When Red Cross workers met Scruggs, he was donned in heavy work gloves and boots to begin the daunting task of cleaning up what was left of his mother’s house. Meanwhile, Scruggs had yet to make the short trip across town to check on his own home, also in a hard-hit area of Van. "I'll get to my house shortly. For now, it's most important to focus on those who have lost everything."
More rain and severe weather are expected this week, and the Red Cross is busy preparing for more while also continuing to provide the many families impacted across the state along the long journey towards recovery. With many areas under flood watch for the next few days, residents are encouraged to download the Red Cross Emergency app for weather alerts and safety information.
HOW TO HELP: To help people affected by these storms and other disasters big and small, donate at RedCross.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999.