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Mission Granbury Going Strong But Could Use Help

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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Granbury, TX was devastated by a half-mile wide tornado which destroyed many homes, including some that were wiped clean off of their foundations. (credit: stormassist.org)

Granbury, TX was devastated by a half-mile wide tornado which destroyed many homes, including some that were wiped clean off of their foundations. (credit: stormassist.org)

GRANBURY (CBSDFW.COM) - It was a month ago that a major tornado tore through much of Northeast Texas. Worst hit was Granbury, where seven people died and hundreds more lost their homes.

“It was quite a devastating experience,” recalls Barry Jenkins. He is part of a local Ministerial Alliance, including Mission Granbury, which has been at the forefront of relief efforts. While the storm seemed to capriciously spare some homes, Rancho Brazos and other neighborhoods were without power and water for days. “So, even people who were not in the direct path of the tornado had to move out of their homes; their homes were unliveable,” according to Jenkins.

Mike McCurtain is one of those people. The Rancho Brazos resident is ready to be home.

“It’s day-to-day,” he tells CBS 11 News. “I’ve been able to move back into the house. We’ve still got tarps on the roof, I got my windows replaced; we got electric and water and that was the necessities we had to have.” But he’s worried for seniors in older homes who might be uninsured. “They’ve been out here 20 years or so that probably had no insurance and lost everything.” He adds, “They’re going to be most likely displaced.”

A few streets over, Travis Bekkelund is within a week of getting his father-in-law back into this home. “We did a little roofing today, a little drywall inside,” he observes. A month in he is still struck by the volunteers; average folks offering help. “Just individuals coming by,” he says. “People handing out food, that was amazing to me. They didn’t have to do it… five minutes wouldn’t pass before someone would come and ask, ‘Do you want something to eat? Water? What can we do for you?’”

What all three men have in common is praise for local volunteers. “There’s still a lot of cleanup out here,” says McCurtain, “And I know the county is running out of funds. A lot of churches have stepped forward.” And especially, he says, so has Mission Granbury, which itself was the beneficiary of donations of warehouse space and manpower.

Barry Jenkins says the agency now needs even more help for the next phase of recovery. “There’s a huge need now for appliances, refrigerators, stoves — those kinds of items.” Also diesel fuel for a refrigerated truck that will offer food and perishable items to the recovering residents. And, Jenkins adds, “there’s a big need for air conditioners. It’s summertime and the heat is on.”

Many of the national groups that were originally in Granbury moved on to Oklahoma after tornadoes ravaged the Sooner State. But Mission Granbury remains and can be contacted at 817.579.6866 or 817.579.6848 or click here for its website.

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