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Community Lends Helping Hand Following Tornadoes

Cooke County tornado damage | Image by NBC 5 DFW
Cooke County tornado damage | Image by NBC 5 DFW

After deadly severe storms tore through several counties on Saturday, the community came together to lend a helping hand.

The Valley View community located in Cooke County was hit hard, resulting in seven dead and over 100 injured, per The Dallas Morning News.

A tornado with winds up to 135 miles per hour ripped through the rural community, damaging more than 200 homes and businesses.

On Monday, the community gathered to reassemble their small town. Kristy Spainhour worked to collect cases of water, diapers, sunscreen, and other necessities for residents in need.

“It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s not surprising,” Spainhour told the DMN. “We always show up for each other. We always rally, and we always do what needs to be done.”

She further noted that being kind and lending a hand isn’t something new for Valley View residents as it’s the type of town where people greet you by name and ask how your mother is.

Other volunteers helped load up cars with bread and baby food. One volunteer is a veteran who came from out of town to help.

Jamie Hurley of Krum told the DMN that he has been driving around to multiple locations to transport donations alongside his wife and three sons.

“We’re all Texans and neighbors,” Hurley told the DMN. “We’re all helpers.”

Hurley went the extra mile and partnered with Operation Texas Strong and Googan Squad to help donate an RV to a veteran who lost his home due to the tornado.

“We love people and helping people,” Operation Texas Strong founder Bobby Crutsinger told DMN. “In a disaster like this, we’re all neighbors and give back to those in need.”

Gov. Greg Abbott visited Valley View on May 26 to give an update on the state’s ongoing response to help those affected by the storms, per a news release from his office.

He signed a severe weather disaster declaration, bringing the total number of counties under the disaster to 106.

“It has been a harrowing week with lives lost, property reduced to rubble, and crushed hopes and dreams of those that owned homes or small businesses, but in true Texas fashion, Texans are responding to this great tragedy with love, care, and generosity,” Abbott said during his visit. “We have seen heroism from first responders, volunteer fire departments, law enforcement, and those that may never be known.”

Abbott announced on Tuesday that four additional counties have been added to the Presidential Disaster Declaration. Another 25 counties are still awaiting approval by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Salvation Army showed up in Cooke, Denton, and Collin counties to help and provide relief as well, per DMN.

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