NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Many of the North Texas tornado victims in the cities of Cleburne and Granbury had their homes and belongings destroyed by the twisters that touched down earlier this month. Now they're facing another hurdle -- as communities try to rebuild property and lives, resources are growing thin.
Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain said, "Now that the crisis has passed our citizens are beginning the arduous task of rebuilding. We had 633 homes that had minor-to-major damage; 92 of those were classified as major damage. Then we had an additional 75 homes, completely destroyed, that are uninhabitable and six businesses were affected."
Cain said individuals from other parts of Texas have reached out to assist. "The debris has been mostly picked up. We had a lot of volunteers in other cities that came to help us get the debris cleared up."
The tornado and high winds that swept through Cleburne have forever changed the landscape. Now Cain is hoping to quickly get help to victims. "We have a lot of our residents who have lost everything and they're having to rebuild from scratch. So we certainly welcome folks that would like to donate funds to help with that relief."
The Cleburne Chamber of Commerce Foundation has set up a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible charitable organization to help residents. "We have an independent committee that's set up to access the needs of individuals that can come and apply for those funds and they'll distribute those funds," Cain explained. "The main thing is we wanted to make certain 100-percent of those funds go to victims to help them rebuild."
Six lives were lost in the May 2013 North Texas twisters, all of them in Granbury. Now many storm victims are trying to deal with the loss of everything but their lives. "Think about it for a second, if you walked out your door and someone picked you up and your cars remained there, and you came home and there was absolutely nothing left… that's what we're talking about with some of these folks," described April Mitchell, with Mission Granbury.
With only scattered cars and trees and home foundations, Mitchell says the need for temporary housing is tremendous. "We're really in a crisis at this point. We're hoping to bring in possibly some mobile homes or some other things to put people in while their homes are being rebuilt."
The twisted trees and tarps on roofs only paint a picture of part of the destruction. The national weather service recently amended their information confirming that a total of 18 tornadoes touched down over North Texas on the evening of May 15.
Donations to help the residents of Cleburne can be dropped off at either of the two Pinnacle Bank locations in the city, or click here to find out more on the City of Cleburne website.
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