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Temple issues disaster declaration after tornado

A black asphalt road is covered with green vegetation and blocked by a downed tree.
City of Belton
Belton and Temple were hit by storms Wednesday night that left downed trees and blocked roads.

Officials in Temple issued a disaster declaration Thursday morning after a tornado touched down the night before and left debris on the street along with structural damage on businesses and personal property.

The National Weather Service said it first got reports of a tornado around 6:24 p.m. on Wednesday. Scattered and severe storms will be possible again through Thursday evening with chances of hail and damaging winds.

No life-threatening injuries or deaths had been reported as of Thursday morning. However, city officials requested residents stay home. Officials said that power outages are affecting traffic lights around the city, and some roads have been blocked to allow debris clearing.

The Temple Independent School District canceled classes for Thursday, and the city announced that multiple facilities, including libraries and recreation centers, would be closed.

The Wilson Recreation Center in Temple is operating as a shelter for people whose homes have been damaged. With high temperatures expected this weekend, city officials said the shelter is also open for those who don’t have air conditioning or power.

The Temple Recovery Taskforce was established to connect residents affected by the severe weather with free services provided by local organizations. Available services include debris removal, home repair and water damage repair. Residents and businesses affected by the tornado and severe weather may also be eligible to receive a federal disaster loan.

The National Weather Service said it has teams assessing the damage in Temple as the organization tries to determine the tornado’s intensity.

Bell County officials also reported mild to moderate structural damage due to severe storms in some unincorporated areas.

Organizations or individuals who wish to help residents affected by the storms can contact the City of Temple at 254-298-5999.