Robertson County offers update on Franklin disaster recovery

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FRANKLIN, Tex. (KBTX) - The City of Franklin and Robertson County have declared a formal disaster in the wake of an EF3 tornado that directly hit Franklin on Saturday morning.

Officials are currently awaiting a possible state disaster declaration, which could make additional recovery funds available.

Emergency managers say $3.8 million in damages have already been calculated, based solely on the tax value of structures affected.
Robertson County officials say 55 homes, one church, four businesses, a duplex and part of the local housing authority were destroyed.

Additional costs are expected as the area recovers in the form of utility repairs, debris management, and unappraised property.

Sunday night around 11 p.m., Entergy was able to make necessary repairs to their main transmission line to Robertson County, dropping the number of customers without power to just 450.

The city of Franklin is still under a curfew Monday evening from 9 p.m. – 7 a.m. for the affected area, from Highway 79 south to the city limits.

All stores are back open in Franklin now that power has been restored, and household trash pickup will take place on Wednesday.

Billy Huggins, the county's emergency management coordinator, said Franklin is still in need of volunteers. However, those volunteers will need to sign up with the county, rather than just showing up. Interested volunteers can call the Emergency Operations Center at (979) 828-6880.

Residents were encouraged to be vigilant about people showing up and offering services in the wake of the disaster. Emergency managers said fraud is a large problem following similar events. They reminded residents that no one would arrive on private property using the county or city’s name offering a paid service.

Making Donations

Emergency managers say South Star Bank in Franklin has set up an account for monetary disaster relief donations for the city of Franklin and Robertson County. Specify money is for the Franklin Tornado when making donations.

Food donations can be made to the Brazos Valley Food Bank in the name of Franklin Food Pantry. The Brazos Valley Food Bank also accepts monetary donations designated for the Franklin Food Pantry.

Clothing donations are being handled by South New Hope Baptist Church in Franklin.