On April 29, nine tornadoes, some with winds as high as 160 mph, left a trail of destruction through Van Zandt, Henderson and Rains counties killing four people and injuring dozens. Hundreds lost everything.
“Where do I go for help/donations?” one victim posted on the Van Zandt County Tornado 2017 Facebook Page. “I lost my entire home/ranch and some animals.”
Van Zandt County created an official Tornado 2017 page sharing numbers for a Tornado Crisis Hotline and offering a list of resources including information on donations, shelters, victim assistance, volunteers, public housing and even chain saw sharpening.
As quickly as the tornadoes came, so did the volunteers.
“There is no way possible to thank all of the people helping with this disaster,” Van Zandt County shared May 5 on the Tornado page. “At the county’s command center this week we have endured hearing many painful disaster-related stories. Thankfully, those stories are quickly yielding to the reports of the many just amazing things that people from far and near are doing here in Van Zandt County.”
As of press time, the community was still in the midst of recovery, asking for specific items for the Donations Warehouse at the Van Zandt County Fairgrounds. For information on how you can help, please visit the Van Zandt County Tornado 2017 Facebook Page.
‘We Are Family’
Johnson County Commissioner Rick Bailey is well familiar with the devastating effects of such storms and offered the following thoughts to his fellow county officials:
North and East Texas has had its share of severe weather in recent years including large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes. The storms experienced in April by Van Zandt, Henderson, and Rains counties were a stark reminder of what we had here in Johnson County in May 2013 and again April 2015. We experienced an outpouring of help from volunteers, donations, and most importantly, the prayers of neighbors near and far. Various organizations, churches and local retail all came to the aid of victims and responders.