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Tornado Relief Center Ready

May 25, 1987

BALMORHEA, Texas (AP) _ This town’s school has been converted to a disaster relief center for those who survived the tornado that killed 29 people in Saragosa, injured more than 120 and destroyed the town.

The American Red Cross planned to open the center this morning.

Dan Wagener, on-site director for the center in this town seven miles southwest of Saragosa, said volunteers, including about a dozen from Saragosa, were trained Sunday to aid the victims of Friday’s tornado.

The Red Cross will have about 60 workers here, and will spend at least $200,000 to assist the community of about 350 residents, he said.

Those seeking short-term and long-term assistance will be interviewed at the center, which was set up at the school.

On Sunday, the school’s gymnasium was filled with clothing, foodstuffs and household items for the tornado victims.

To make room for the center, the school year was ended a week early, Wagener said.

The center will be open for at least three weeks, but the Red Cross would have people here for as long as they are needed, he said.

No decision has not been made on state and federal emergency relief, and no estimate of damages has been issued.

Officials said Gov. Bill Clements’ aides were studying the matter.

Rep. Ron Coleman, D-El Paso, who visited Saragosa on Sunday, said he has asked President Reagan to issue federal aid to the community.

″As far as I am concerned, there will be federal aid,″ Coleman said.

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