DALLAS—When high winds hit North Texas on consecutive weekends, Texas Baptist Men disaster relief volunteers responded with chainsaws and heavy equipment to remove fallen trees from homes.
The first severe thunderstorm hit the Dallas area June 9, packing 70 mph wind gusts and initially leaving about 350,000 homes without electricity. TBM disaster relief crews deployed quickly to assist affected families and individuals.
One week later on Father’s Day, another storm hit North Texas. Straight line winds of 60-plus mph and three confirmed tornadoes in Tarrant County and one in Dallas County caused widespread damage and more power outages.
Seven TBM chainsaw crews, along with heavy equipment operators, food-service teams and shower/laundry unit volunteers, continue to work throughout the region.
At one house in Dallas, TMB volunteers removed a fallen tree that had blocked a woman’s front door, making entry and exit almost impossible. The woman told members of the chainsaw team they were “truly a Godsend.”
“I’m so grateful for what you all were able to do,” she said when the volunteers completed their work. “I’m going to have a great story to tell my Sunday school class next week.”
Through June 16, TBM crews already had donated 1,886 volunteer hours, completing 38 chainsaw jobs and logging 100 heavy equipment hours. Three days later, the number of volunteer hours had risen to 2,973, crews had completed 73 chainsaw jobs and logged 152 heavy equipment hours.
Other TBM personnel deployed to Greenville July 19 to provide temporary roofing after high winds—possibly one or more tornadoes—caused widespread damage in Hunt County, including ripping off a significant portion of the roof from the sanctuary of Highland Terrace Baptist Church. TBM delivered a pallet of tarps for the church to distribute in the community.
Disaster relief in North Texas could take up to one month.
Meanwhile, a TBM incident management team deployed to Arkansas to assist with disaster relief after flooding there. The team is housed at Southside Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Ark.
To contribute financially, send a check designated “disaster relief” to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron, Dallas, TX 75227, call (214) 275-1116 or click here.
Rand Jenkins, communications director for TBM, contributed to this report.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article, originally posted before noon on July 19, was updated on July 20.