Salado-area residents afflicted by EF3 tornado receive help, guidance at resource center
SALADO, Texas (KWTX) - Bell County officials created a two-day Multi Agency Resource Center to help victims of the EF3 tornado that devastated southern Bell County and damaged or destroyed 76 buildings on April 12.
Various organizations like the American Red Cross, the Austin Disaster Relief Network and even tax appraisers set up on the second floor of the Salado Civic Center to offer goods, financial assistance, services, and advice to victims.
For the first day of the event, victims, including three brothers with fresh wounds from the storm, came in to seek help.
“He said the main thing they need is somewhere to live now and a vehicle to go back and forth to work because they lost everything,” said Jose Perez, the nephew translating for the Prado brothers.
The brothers were thrown from their mobile home when the tornado came through. They don’t speak English and were unaware of the tornado threat. One of them survived the storm clinging to a tree trunk.
Larry McDonald also lost his home, which sat between two churches destroyed by the tornado.
“Next thing I know all heck broke loose and then the roof left and I’m looking up at the sky,” McDonald said.
He also says while there is a lot of help left, navigating how to get access to that help has been daunting.
“It’s been a struggle. It’s been a big struggle, but I’m blessed,” said McDonald. “The main thing I need is machinery like a bulldozer. We are trying to demolish what’s left of the house.”
The help being offered at the Multi Agency Resource Center is wide ranging and includes help with filling out important paperwork for things like property tax relief.
“Sitting at home trying to figure that out can be so frustrating,” said James Stafford, a spokesperson for Bell County. “So here it’s not just that you get the form, but you get to sit down with someone who has filled out the form a hundred times,” he said.
The Salvation Army, American Red Cross and Texas Baptist Men were also there providing physical goods such as moving boxes, gift cards for food and personal hygiene items.
The Multi Agency Resource Center takes place Fri. April 22 and Saturday April 23 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the 2nd floor of the Salado Civic Center located at 601 N Main St, Salado, TX 76571.
Victims will need to present an ID with the address of the affected property or a piece of mail with the address on it and maybe some pictures of the damage. The county says it’s to ensure that help is going to actual storm victims.
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