DALLAS—After at least nine tornadoes were sighted throughout the North Texas region Saturday evening—laying hold of homes and lives—Texas Baptist Men's Disaster Relief Ministry sprang into action and began to mobilize volunteers and resources to assist needs.
At this time, the ministry has established an Incident Command Team at the First Baptist Church in Rowlett, located at 4309 Main St., to manage relief efforts. So far, efforts include a joint response from units of TBM's chainsaw and box ministry, respectively. These teams will be working in cooperation with area public and emergency management officials.
Terry Henderson, state director of TBM Disaster Relief, said the chainsaw crew from Collin County is working with the Rowlett Fire Department, "and they're going to be going through clearing debris, working with the fire department."
Rowlett is located about 20 miles northeast of Dallas and reported 11 casualties the day after an EF3 tornado crossed Lake Ray Hubbard. According to reports by the Associated Press, Rowlett City Manager Brian Funderburk said 23 others were injured in the storm, which caused “huge amounts of damage” to the southern part of the city.
In Garland, Henderson said a TBM chainsaw crew from Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall also has been deployed to assist relief efforts after the area's twister was classified as an EF4 tornado. When Sunday's light came, the force of winds exceeding 166 mph was painfully obvious, as homes had been reduced to piles of rubble.
In addition to the TBM's chainsaw response, Ralph Rogers, vice president of TBM Disaster Relief, said two units of TBM's box ministry also have been deployed to serve in Garland and Midlothian.
The box ministry works to distribute moving boxes to disaster survivors for gathering possessions.
"And additional chainsaw and heavy equipment units are being activated and should be operational by Thursday," he added.
Meanwhile, TBM Disaster Relief continues to assess needs throughout North Texas. TBM will respond as needs are determined.
Please pray for those affected by these storms, as well as for our volunteers. Stay tuned for updates.
To support this ministry, call 214-275-1114 or give online here. You can also text "@TBM" (followed by the dollar amount you'd like to give) to 52014.