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Tornado victims ask for help from Bexar County

Residents need to help to collect debris

SAN ANTONIO - For 80-year-old Margarito Reyes, there is a lot of work to be done on his Southwest Bexar County home. 

Reyes’ house was leveled by Monday’s EF2 tornado. Along with plenty of volunteer help, he rolled up his sleeves and got to work to clean up the mess.

"I’ll clean it, no big deal. It’s OK with me. Plenty of time is what I got,” said a laughing Reyes.

So far, Reyes has not received assistance from Bexar County -- a move that frustrates his neighbor Benny Hernandez, who also took on damage.

"We're not asking for handouts, we're not asking for pardons or pity, we're just asking for some help from our actual Bexar County," said Hernandez.

Most of that help is needed to pick up debris and trash which residents along Ladd Road have already begun to pile up. Currently, the group of homes damaged only has one privately owned dumpster to place trash in, and it is almost full.

"We have the man power to load up the stuff in the trash bins, but we don’t have anything to put it in. I don't know, I guess they want us to start a big bonfire out here,” said Hernandez.

For the county’s part, they say they are attempting to do what they can. The damage in the area which includes 28 homes, totals far less than the $5.5 million needed for state or federal help.  The situation in Bexar County appeared to be far different than the scene in tornado ravaged Medina County, which has applied for state help.

"We're divided in counties but we can’t unite as a unity. I don’t understand that," said Hernandez.

On Friday, the county issued a statement regarding debris collection. It is printed in full below:

Bexar County has established a storm debris collection site at the Emergency Services District Number 5  station located at 12970 Jarratt Road.

The collection station will be open this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. , and next week  Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

No hazardous materials, tires, oils or chemicals, paints, batteries, propane or gas cylinders, biological waste, ammunition, explosives, fire extinguishers, or electric appliances will be accepted for disposal.

On the same operational schedule as the collections stations, Bexar County Public Works crews also will be monitoring roads within the impacted area and be ready to remove storm debris placed in the right of way.  The impacted area includes:  Jarratt, Ladd, Miller, O’Brien, Robins,Ted Williams, Wendler and Wheeler Roads in Southwest Bexar County.

The Sheriff’s Office has provided additional patrol services to protect property and provide for public safety in the area.

In addition, Bexar County has established 210-206-8535 as the central phone point of contact for storm victims to use for all assistance questions.


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