SouthWest Water Company, parent company of Monarch Utilities – water provider for 128 customer accounts in the Rancho Brazos subdivision that was devastated by a tornado Wednesday evening – announced Friday that it is “suspending due dates and balances on current water bills until further notice for Rancho Brazos customers,” according to a statement issued by Director of Operations Ryan Quigley. The news release said customers who have questions are encouraged to call Monarch’s toll-free customer phone line at 866-654-7992. “Once we are given access to the subdivision, we will set up a temporary water-fill station at the water plant site (3708 Sundown Trail),” according to Quigley. “Rancho Brazos customers will be able to fill up water jugs at the fill station. With the level of destruction, any permanent repairs will take some time and we ask for the community’s patience.”
The names and ages of some of the six people who died in the Rancho Brazos subdivision east of Granbury as a result of Wednesday’s EF-4 tornado have been updated by Hood County officials. Here is the updated list, provided by the Sheriff’s Office: Robert H. Whitehead, 60, and his wife, Glenda Whitehead (age not available); Jose Tovar Alvarez, 34; Leo Stefanski, 83; Tommy Martin, 61; and Marjari Davis, 82. As of Friday afternoon, officials stated that there were no other people unaccounted for in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Those missing a dog because of the tornadoes Wednesday can go to NewScope Marketing, 5845 Acton Circle, just off Industrial Avenue in Granbury, where the canines that have been found by Hood County Animal Control are being housed and cared for, Animal Control Sergeant Kelly McNab said. Or, go to the Animal Control facility, 240 Bray St., Monday through Friday. The Acton Circle location will be open for that purpose 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday (May 18) and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, McNab said. More than 200 animals were rounded up from the areas hit by the tornadoes, the sergeant said. The overall number includes about 150 dogs and 20 cats plus birds, gerbils, lizards and even a rooster. As of Friday afternoon, 27 of the 62 dogs taken to the Acton Circle location (which has only dogs) had been reunited with their owners. To claim a pet, you will need to describe the animal in detail and/or show a photo, and show your driver’s license. McNab said more than enough pet food and supplies have been donated. However, donations of cash or checks can be taken to the Animal Control facility or checks can be made out to Hood County Animal Control and mailed to: Hood County Sheriff’s Office, care of Animal Control, 400 Deputy Larry Miller Dr., Granbury, TX 76048. The pets not claimed will eventually be posted with a photo on a pet rescue website, www.petfinder.com.
At a press conference Friday afternoon with the governor and attorney general, Sheriff Roger Deeds said that residents of Rancho Brazos will be allowed back into the demolished neighborhood on a limited basis starting Saturday (May 18). No media or business representatives will be allowed in, he said. On Saturday, residents can inspect what is left of their homes between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., but they must register with the county fire marshal’s office first. That number is 817-579-3335.
Visiting the ravaged Rancho Brazos area Friday afternoon (May 17) with Gov. Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott warned that the force of the law will descend on any “unscrupulous” businesses that target tornado victims. Abbott said his office will “stand ready to take complaints and investigate and prosecute” any who engage in illegal business practices that bring further harm to the residents of Rancho Brazos. At a press conference held at the site of the destruction, Perry praised Sheriff Roger Deeds and other county and city officials for their handling of the disaster. He said that efforts are getting under way to coordinate state and federal aid.
The Martin-Davis benefit fund has been established at First National Bank for Betsy Martin, who is in ICU at John Peter Smith hospital in Fort Worth with broken ribs, wrist, bones in her back, shoulders and a collapsed lung. Her husband Tommy Martin and mother Marjari Davis were killed in the Wednesday evening tornado.The family had no medical or burial insurance.
Officials are reporting that monetary donations to help tornado victims can be made through the United Way of Hood County, American Red Cross Chisholm Trail Chapter and numerous funds that have been established at area banks. Material donations are best handled through Mission Granbury, 817-579-6866.
Between phone calls and in-person registration, a multitude of volunteers have been registered with the Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT). At this point, county officials have not needed the volunteers to help with recovery and rebuilding efforts in tornoado-stricken Rancho Brazos. Potential volunteers can register at the CERT trailer parked at Granbury First United Methodist Church, or by calling Shanan Olsen at 817-776-0918. Volunteers will be contacted as the need arises.
There is some good news today: Everyone has been accounted for from the areas devastated by tornadoes that swept through Hood County Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Hood County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday afternoon. Six people had already been known dead in the Rancho Brazos subdivision, so now of course that means the death toll will not increase. As of press time for Saturday’s Hood County News print edition, the latest information was that there were still seven people missing.
All victims of Wednesday’s Hood County tornado damage are being encouraged to meet between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the Granbury Church of Christ, 1905 W. Pearl St., according to Stephanie Parker with the Hood County Emergency Management Office. Parker said the meeting will give the disaster victims easy access to fill out forms for various insurance companies and contractors. Also, representatives from the American Red Cross and Mission Granbury will be there to offer services and to find out what is needed. No donations will be accepted there. Attendees must park off of Pirate Drive in the church’s south parking lot. Contractors and insurance company representatives should call the Hood County Fire Marshal’s Office at 817-579-3335 for more information.
Light Up The Blues Gala at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19 at The Waterview, 100 Watermark Blvd. includes world-class dining and Texas blues music. Proceeds benefit Lake Pointe Resource Center. A silent auction is also included. Lake Pointe Resource Center, 1921 Acton Highway, provides programming in many areas, including education, outreach, sibling workshops, videos and resources for families.
A Cowboy Gathering returns to Granbury on Saturday, May 18. The program features musical entertainment by The Jolie Holliday Band. The gathering opens at 6 p.m. at the Granbury Reunion Grounds (inside), 641 Reunion Court. Robertson’s Chuck Wagon will provide steak bites for dinner from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The silent auction runs from 6-8:30 p.m. and the live auction starts at 9. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the door.
The Lake Granbury Spring Classic is taking place this weekend at Granbury City Fields with games from 5-10 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. There will also be a monetary Donation station sponsored by Red Cross at the tournament.
North Texas High School Rodeo Association Finals, Friday-Sunday, Will Rogers Coliseum, Fort Worth
Tolar qualifiers: Katie Keith – breakaway roping, ribbon roping; Bradyn Crider – team roping, calf roping; Hanna Wallace – goat tying, breakaway roping; Victoria Alexander – barrel racing.
Premier: Trever Field – team roping, calf roping.