NABF Disaster Relief Update: Wildfires & Tornadoes in Texas

As published to our NABF Disaster Relief Mailing List, an update follows from our Disaster Relief Coordinator for North America James Barbour. To receive these updates to your inbox sign up for the NABF Disaster Relief Mailing List.

Do you need help? Do you want to offer assistance? Email us or call us Toll Free: 1-888-615-6223 


Here’s What’s Happening: Eastland Fires

At least one person was killed, 50 homes were destroyed and nearly 500 others evacuated in central Texas after wildfires burned more than 45,000 acres, officials said on Friday.

The wildfire, a set of blazes west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area called the Eastland Complex fire, began on Thursday evening and burned through Sunday. A deputy with the Eastland County Sheriff’s Office, Barbara Fenley, died while helping people escape, the authorities said.



The blaze was 30 percent contained as of Sunday evening, and rainstorms are projected for Monday, the Texas A&M Forest Service said on Twitter. Firefighting crews had been protecting structures and building fire-containment lines, and planes dropped water and fire-retardant chemicals in the area, it said. Gov. Greg Abbott signed a disaster declaration on Friday that would allow the state to better help 11 counties affected by the fire. He said more counties could be added.

Communities affected included Gorman, where roughly 475 homes were evacuated; Carbon, where 27 homes were destroyed and a highway was closed; and Lake Leon. Gorman is about 100 miles west of Fort Worth. Shelters for evacuees were opened at sites that included churches and a school.

Residents shared footage of the fire on social media, including scenes of damaged homes. Smoke from the blaze was reaching other parts of the state, including Houston, about 300 miles away, the National Weather Service said.

Here’s What’s Happening: North Texas Tornadoes

In Texas, several tornadoes were reported Monday along the Interstate 35 corridor, particularly in the Austin suburbs of Round Rock and Elgin, and in an area west-northwest of Dallas-Fort Worth. Another reported tornado caused damage in the southern Oklahoma town of Kingston. At least four people were injured Monday, and one confirmed death in Texas, officials said, reported by AccuWeather News.

The storm already left misery in its wake in Texas. Officials reported damage throughout Jacksboro, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Fort Worth. There, photographs posted on social media showed a storm ripped the wall and roof from parts of Jacksboro High School, especially its gym. “It brought tears to my eyes,” school principal Starla Sanders told WFAA-TV in Dallas.
 

https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2022/03/22/ap22081100533491_wide-7d15c4a3e8490a21f473e165515e80d5823420a1-s1100-c50.jpg
Jarrod Schneider helps his neighbors clean up after a tornado heavily damaged several homes on their street in Round Rock, Texas, on Monday.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP

Here’s What the NABF is Doing

NAB Fellowship partners like the Texas Baptists, and local churches are providing direct support towards the relocation, housing, feeding, and medical care of victims in immediate need as part of disaster response programs to support the people of Texas. 

For more on what the Texas Baptists are doing on the ground visit: https://twitter.com/txbaptistmen

Here’s What You Can Do

Please pray: 
– pray for the family of the victims who lost their life, including the Sheriff’s Deputy Barbara Fenley
– pray for the many victims that have lost homes, cars, everything!!!
– pray for the first responders and medical staff involved
– pray for the willing hearts and hands that are coming to give relief in this disaster 

Financial Assistance:
Right now, there is a need for food and transportation services. They have damaged cars. There is a shortage of everything–food, water, formula, diapers, medicine. NABF partners like the Texas Baptists Volunteers are on the ground providing much needed timely service to disaster victims. Donations can be made directly to their work below (select the “Disaster Relief” campaign). To volunteer with relief efforts, connect with them directly via their website

We are grateful for your partnership in this important disaster relief work. Please also consider donating to the work of the NABF in communicating and coordinating these important disaster relief efforts across our continent. 
 
 Thank you, and may God bless you, 

James R. Barbour

Disaster Relief Coordinator
North American Baptist Fellowship
Toll Free: 1-888-615-6223 

This content was originally published to the NABF Disaster Relief mailing list on March 23, 2022.

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