Deer Park daycare had nearly 80 kids inside during tornado, sustained major roof damage
DEER PARK, Texas - A daycare in Deer Park is now searching for a temporary facility after part of its building was destroyed by the tornado.
The daycare's owner says roughly 80 kids attend the Joyful Kids Learning Center on West Pasadena Blvd. Fortunately, no children were injured.
Since Tuesday, crews have worked around the clock to clean up the debris. Major construction is expected as large portions of the floor and the roof will have to be replaced.
Karina Corcolis was teaching that day and her swift actions may have saved the kids' lives.
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As soon as the emergency alerts went off to take cover, Corcolis said she and her colleague quickly brought the kids to huddle in a bathroom and wait till the tornado passed.
"We’re like hey we’re going to go in there. We’re going to play a game and we were just trying to sing to them, keep them calm, and just wait for it to pass," Corcolis said.
Corcolis said she has three kids of her own that were in three separate schools when the tornado hit. With widespread power outages and spotty cell phone reception, she was unable to contact and locate her kids.
"It has been very emotional taking care of so many lives at once and having a life of your own, kids of your own, that you don’t know where they're at, at that time and place," Corcolis continued.
The daycare’s owner says they’re working as fast as possible to find an alternate location, while their building undergoes repairs.
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The owners are hoping to provide an update by early next week.
Deer Park ISD says the school will be canceled again on Friday.
Officials say six school facilities remain without power as of Thursday evening, however, no significant damage has been reported to any of their buildings otherwise. A spokesperson with Deer Park ISD said the extent of the damage includes downed trees, a few broken windows, damaged fences, and minor cosmetic exterior damage.