Tornado recovery efforts underway in Hill County

Posted at 1:56 PM, Jan 27, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:39-04

Cleanup efforts are underway in Hill County after a tornado ripped through that area earlier this month.

The Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church is calling in organizations, such as Team Rubicon, to help with the clean up that is expected to take two to three weeks.

Team Rubicon, a disaster response non-profit organization, was helping to cut down trees and remove debris on Timberline Drive on Friday.

The team had 13 volunteers from the Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas area helping those affected. Over the weekend, they were expected to have 25 people.

"Some people lost everything they own but others are not able to get in and out of their homes, which can be a safety issue. We really want to make sure that we can help them reestablish their sense of normalcy and get back on the road to recovery,"  Team Rubicon Incident Commander at the response in Lake Whitney area Jerrit Gideon said.

Stan Parrotte lives in one of homes the team helped clean up. It had debris in the front yard and backyard.

"These folks here are a God sent to anybody in this area, coming out here and take care of this for you free. That's awesome," Parrotte said.

The group that arrived on Wednesday will remain in the area for a week to help with the relief efforts.

The Family Center at the King United Memorial Methodist Church is serving as the storm relief center for this effort. Currently, is welcoming cleaning supplies to help those affected.

Currently, it is estimated 30 to 40 residences were affected by the tornado.

"This is not going to be over tomorrow and we are going to need to help residents get their places cleaned up and be able to go forward with this," King Memorial United Methodist Church and Blum United Methodist Church Rev. Brad Slaten said.

After the clean up is completed, Rev. Laraine Waughtal who is part of the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, said the United Methodist Committee Relief will provide case management for families affected. That will determine the need of each of those affected.

"Long term depending on how many homes are damaged and how many families are having a need, it will take six months to a year to get everyone recovered," Waughtal said.

If you would like to volunteer, you can go to the Lake Whitney Storm Relief Center at 503 N. Colorado Ave, in Whitney. You can make monetary donations to the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance.

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