South TX hard hit by storms

Two small southern Texas towns are cleaning up after fierce storms hit last week.

BY HEATHER MOYER | FALFURRIAS, Texas | April 12, 2004

Two small southern Texas towns are cleaning up after fierce storms hit last week.

In Falfurrias, a small town 169 miles south of San Antonio, severe hail punched holes in siding and smashed out windows across town. "The hail was as large as lemons," said Don Jones, disaster recovery coordinator for the United Methodist Church Southwest Texas Conference. "You could drive by the south or east side of the homes and it looks normal. But when you go around the other side, it looks like it's covered with shotgun blasts."

Jones was in Falfurrias late last week to talk to local church officials about the recovery. Hail broke every pane of glass except one at the First United Methodist Church in town. More than 100 homes experienced minor damage and four experienced major damage, said Jones. The community is still assessing damages.

Most of the people in town are uninsured, said Jones, adding that he helped distribute 196 United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) buckets to those affected.

An interfaith recovery team from Plano, Texas, is expected to be in Falfurrias by the end of this week to start helping people clean up. The Mission Presbytery in San Antonio has also requested $15,000 for storm relief in Falfurrias.

Down in Crystal City, a small town 115 miles southwest of San Antonio, the damage is also being assessed. Jones said the county judge is trying to get funding for mosquito control and inoculations from the flooding last week.

"These are both poor communities," said Jones, who said he'd continue visiting the cities throughout their recovery. "The length of the recovery process in both towns will depend on funding and volunteers."

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