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State and local officials, non-profits respond to North Texas storm damage

Abbott confirms 7 deaths in North Texas, including 2 children
Abbott confirms 7 deaths in North Texas, including 2 children 03:56

NORTH TEXAS — Governor Greg Abbott, state and local officials are responding to the storms that left at least seven dead in North Texas Saturday night.

Sunday evening, Abbott held a press conference in Valley View on the state's ongoing response to severe weather and tornadoes. He will be joined by Congressman Michael C. Burgess, State Representative David Spiller, Cooke County Judge John Roane, Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington, Texas Division of Emergency Management Assistant Chief Kevin Starbuck, and other state and local officials. 

Collin County issued a disaster declaration in response to the storm damage.

An unconfirmed tornado hit Collin County Saturday damaging houses and knocking down power lines, according to Collin County Emergency Management. Several houses were leveled in Celina and surrounding areas. So far there are a few injuries and no deaths.

"I am heartbroken from the reports of devastation sustained by our friends and neighbors in Collin County last night," said Collin County Judge Chris Hill. "Most of all, we are immensely grateful that there have been no reported fatalities."

The Celina Fire Department began helping residents right away and searching each house. One family was trapped in their house and rescued by neighbors during the night.  

The damage in Celina and the surrounding areas left 15,000 homes without power.  Power has been restored to all but about 2,000 residents.

Hill said he asked for every available resource to be deployed to residents whose houses were destroyed.

"Our teams from Collin County, Celina, and partnering agencies worked throughout the night and will continue working throughout the day to clear the debris from roadways and to assess the damage to homes. 

Residents in immediate need of supplies and resources may contact GraceBridge, a nonprofit serving the families of Celina.

National Weather Service survey teams are continuing to survey the damage that occurred in the hardest hit areas across Montague, Cooke, Denton, and Collin Counties. So far, the findings include:

  • Damage found in south Montague County was consistent with an EF-2 tornado with estimated maximum winds of 125 mph.
  • Extensive damage was found in Cooke County, primarily south of Valley View near the Cooke/Denton County line, with a preliminary rating of EF-2 with estimated maximum winds of 135 mph.
  • A survey team is still assessing damage across northern Denton and Collin Counties.

Disaster personnel from the Salvation Army are in several areas affected by the storm, including Lake Ray Roberts Marina, Celina, and Valley View. Each unit is equipped to deliver vital necessities such as food, water, and basic comforts directly to first responders and those in need within devastated areas.  

The Salvation Army of North Texas, in collaboration with The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Service (EDS) team, has also mobilized three mobile kitchens from Lewisville, Fort Worth, and Sherman and a Rapid Response Unit from Irving to provide critical support to the affected communities.

"In times of crisis, The Salvation Army stands ready to serve and support our communities," said Major Dwayne Durham, The Salvation Army incident commander. "Our mobile kitchens are equipped to provide not just physical nourishment but also emotional and spiritual care to help survivors rebuild their lives. We are deeply committed to walking alongside our neighbors in Denton, Collin, and Cooke Counties during this recovery process. No matter what's needed, The Salvation Army is ready to help." 

The American Red Cross opened a shelter at the First Baptist Church in Valley View. Residents can find snacks, water, disaster assistance and other resources. 

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