WEST, Texas—One by one, sections of West, Texas reopened and, one by one, residents headed past checkpoints and into the neighborhoods to get back into their homes.
“I know there is some heavy damage on my neighbor back here,” said John Klander.
Klander was one of the lucky ones. His garage doors were pretty banged up, but inside his house he found only minor sheetrock damage.
He feels fortunate to be alive. He lost many friends in the explosion.
His daughter survived even though she was driving just down the street from the plant when it blew.
“She’s got a ruptured eardrum and a concussion so I think they were pretty close to the apartments,” he said.
For the first time since Wednesday, KHOU 11 News got a good look at the apartments from the ground. And it looked like so many tornadoes we have covered in the past.
Trees were down, vehicles were smashed and there was sheet metal blown all around the area.
Outside a nursing home, there were wheelchairs lined up; a reminder of the evacuations that day.
At a briefing in front of city hall, statements were read from family members of the deceased and as each day passes, they say they’re not getting any relief from their sorry or pain.
Members of the small, tightly-knit community say they’ll never completely heal from what happened.