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Disaster assistance centers open to help people affected by severe weather in the Dallas area

Tree falls in North Texas due to storm.
Storms on May 28 caused extensive damage and left more than 500,000 residents in North Texas without power. The severe weather also knocked out power to voting centers

People affected by recent severe storms, high winds and power outages can get hands-on help applying for financial assistance at disaster assistance centers opened by local governments at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA has set up two help centers. One at Williams Elementary in Garland and another at the Network of Community Ministries in Richardson.

Ministries President Abbie Kauffman says FEMA can help fill gaps in relief.

"The winds — basically equivalent to a category one hurricane sweeping across North Texas — caused significant damage to their property," she said. "If you're already living paycheck to paycheck, there's simply not enough at the end of the month to even replace the food in your fridge, much less a bed."

Centers are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

Residents can apply for federal funds online, on the App, or by phone. The deadline is July 16.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins signed a disaster declaration soon after the severe weather hit on May 28. Runoff elections were held on the same day, and Dallas County extended its voting hours until 9 p.m. Dozens of voting locations were left without power.

Got a tip? Email Marina Trahan Martinez at You can follow Marina at @HisGirlHildy.

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Marina Trahan Martinez is KERA's Dallas County government accountability reporter. She's a veteran journalist who has worked in the Dallas area for many years. Prior to coming to KERA, she was on The Dallas Morning News Watchdog investigative and accountability team with Dave Lieber. She has written for The New York Times since 2001, following the 9/11 attacks. Many of her stories for The Times focused on social justice and law enforcement, including Botham Jean's murder by a Dallas police officer and her subsequent trial, Atatiana Jefferson's shooting death by a Fort Worth police officer, and protests following George Floyd's murder. Marina was part of The News team that a Pulitzer finalist for coverage of the deadly ambush of Dallas police officers in 2016.