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1997 Jarrell tornado: Volunteers arrived in droves to clear debris, donate blood

People arrived in Jarrell to help with the cleanup efforts. But they also did so much more.

JARRELL, Texas — After Jarrell, Texas, was slammed by a deadly F-5 tornado on May 27, 1997, people from near and far wanted to help. And they showed up by the busloads.

Once the news got out that 27 people had died and dozens of homes were destroyed, people arrived to help with the cleanup efforts. But they also did so much more.

Initially, one of the biggest and most immediate needs was to help those who had been injured during the storm. Many who were critically injured needed blood, so people showed up at blood banks and hospitals to give the gift of life.


"With the first three of the four patients that we got, they were extremely critical and they used a lot of blood in surgery, so it really depleted our blood supply," one health care professional told KVUE at the time.

Besides giving blood, volunteers helped pick up debris and rubble. The work was hard, but those who arrived in Jarrell wanted to show their support to the residents of the devastated town.

For all of KVUE's coverage honoring the anniversary of the 1997 Jarrell tornado, visit KVUE.com/Jarrell. Watch our full "Remembering Jarrell: 25 Years Later" special report below:

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