Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

May 17, 2013

Cleburne declared disaster area after strong storms

By Matt Smith | Lone Star News Group

Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain early Thursday morning declared a state of emergency and disaster in wake of damage caused by Wednesday night’s tornado and heavy rain. Cain said County Judge Roger Harmon did the same for the county.

“[State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and State Rep. Rob Orr, R-Burleson,] are going to meet with the governor, maybe as we speak,” Cain said. “And I’m working with the mayor pro-tem of Granbury to coordinate efforts between our counties.”

Fortunately, Cain said, the tornadoes resulted in no fatalities or major injuries.

“We’ve had seven minor injury transports,” he said.

Police and firefighters from Cleburne and other county cities spent the night searching damaged neighborhoods for residents in need of help. The search often slowed due to flooding in several areas of town and tree-limb-blocked streets. Homes along Lakeshore Drive in the Winchester Addition and other west-side neighborhoods sustained heavy damage. Rescue workers continued their home-to-home search Thursday morning.

Fire trucks and police cars staged out of H-E-B’s parking lot overnight, coming and going as they responded to calls. Officials from Salvation Army Disaster Services out of Dallas arrived with food and other supplies as did an American Red Cross truck. Members of the Johnson County Emergency Support Services also set up in H-E-B’s parking lot to assist rescue workers and victims.

Officials opened the Cleburne Conference Center as an emergency shelter.

Koon and Kam Wu were the first to arrive.

“No, we couldn’t drive out,” Koon Wu said. “We’re very thankful for the firemen who broke through a window to get in the house. They said it’s not safe to stay here and helped us get out.”

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