DEER PARK, Texas — Hundreds of sick men, women and children crowded into see Harris County Public Health doctors at Deer Park’s Jimmy Burke Activity Center Thursday evening. The clinic opened to treat and soothe patients.
“It just started yesterday, the symptoms that I have,” said Faye Ester, who works as a security guard in the area. “My head is hurting slightly on the right side, my eyes have been watery and my nose (has) been running. I’m like what’s happening with me? I’m going to be 59 years old next month. I never experienced nothing like this before. By what’s going on now in the air, you never know how it’s going to affect me for years to come. I’m concerned at least 6 on a scale of 1 to 10.”
“I’d say (I’m concerned), 8 or 9 (out of 10),” said James Carr, a refinery worker and married father of 1- and 3-year-olds who lives nearby. “Our daughter was doing fine recently. Today she started throwing up and having diarrhea.”
“We were going to shelter-in-place,” said Katrina, Carr’s wife. “Then as soon as I opened my bedroom door, I could smell it. So there’s no point in sheltering-in-place if it’s inside the house.”
“(Our daughter is) only a year-and-a-half, so it’s kind of scary,” James Carr said.
“(I’m) just trying to stay calm, but can’t,” Katrina Carr said with tears in her eyes.
“We know (the HCPH clinic) is the only place looking at kids (Thursday night),” James Carr said.
“The wait is getting longer and longer because more people keep coming in,” said Angel Cleveland, whose family heard about the clinic on KHOU 11 News. “I think right now they’re at number 72. We’re number 141. I’m pretty sure (clinic operators) know what they’re doing here, because they know what they’re looking for and know what kind of chemicals were exposed out into the air. My wife doesn’t have a very strong immune system. She’s been real ill the last couple of days. Recently, I just left the last company that I was working for, and I don’t have health insurance right now. So it was a concern like, man, where am I going to take her? We just moved (to the Deer Park area last month), and now this happens. That’s the air we breathe. That’s the air my children breathe. So it’s a big concern, because you want to make sure everybody in your family stays healthy.”
The HCPH clinic reopens from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.