SALADO, Texas — Bell County Judge David Blackburn issued a local disaster declaration following the “extensive” damage caused by Tuesday’s tornado that struck Salado.
In a news conference Wednesday at 4 p.m., Blackburn explained that a total of 63 structures were damaged by the EF-3 tornado. At least 61 of those structures were homes and one was a church, he said.
There were no deaths and a total of 23 people were injured, he said.
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He told property owners that if they were impacted by the storm, they could call 254-534-4562 for assistance. He said those who answer will help connect them to the right people Mondays to Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In response to the disaster declaration, Blackburn said property owners may be able to get funding to help offset the costs of damage caused by the tornado. He said that won’t be known until data regarding damage is fully collected. He said issuing the disaster declaration, however, is a step in the right direction to possibly help with the county attaining those funds.
During the news conference, Blackburn also said at least 638 customers are without power, which has caused them to go without water as well. He said he believes the victims’ biggest need right now is likely water.
If you’d like to help those who were impacted by the tornado, you can call 254-534-2217. This is also the number to call to make donations.
Earlier, the National Weather Service determined that a “high” EF-3 tornado with wind speeds of 165 mph swept through southern Bell County.
NWS also released a map of the tornado’s path, which shows it formed in Williamson County and crossed into Bell County, heading north-northeast. NWS also said the tornado formed at 5:34 p.m. and dissipated at 6:06 p.m., traveling a total of 13.1 miles in Bell County. Blackburn added that the tornado was about a quarter-mile wide.