USA — The American Red Cross of Southwest Texas reported Thursday that it has received about $98,000 in donations for West Texas disaster relief, which includes victims of the recent devastating wildfires in the Midland and Fort Davis areas.
More than $14,000 already has been spent to assist several families with initial expenses such as food, clothing and hotel stays, said Tonya Hancock, director of health and safety services.
“We anticipate a larger amount being spent. This was just the first few cases that were opened and initial assistance provided over the weekend,” she said.
Damage assessment reports indicate that 34 houses were destroyed in Midland County and 150 people displaced. In the immediate Fort Davis area, 40 structures, including 16 primary homes, were destroyed and 100 people displaced. The extent of damage to property, livestock and infrastructure across the thousands of acres charred by wildfires still is being assessed.
“The scale of devastation for many of our West Texas neighbors continues to grow,” said Bob Rice, executive director. “The damage is overwhelming, and families are faced with the daunting task of rebuilding their lives.
“The outpouring of support for these fire victims and first responders who have tirelessly fought the wildfires is a testimony to community spirit,” Rice said.
Rice also reported a total of 330 people were sheltered in Midland and Balmorhea. He said those shelters now have been closed.
A Red Cross press release indicated the chapter is providing financial assistance and logistics support to repair water wells, providing hay for livestock, and offering to assist monetarily in the repair of corrals for livestock awaiting transport to other locations.
As part of the emergency response plan, the American Red Cross is working with the Midland and Fort Davis independent school districts to identify students and their families still needing assistance.