Deer Park residents prepare for incoming weather as FEMA begins survey of storm damage
DEER PARK, Texas - Storms looming in the coming days have kicked cleanup efforts into overdrive in a Deer Park neighborhood as they try to secure their homes as best as possible.
The Dow family sustained heavy damage to their home during Tuesday's tornados, and haven't stopped working since.
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"We had contractors come out and put tarps on the roof because our roof is destroyed," said Anna Dow. "We had two by fours on the side of our house, so they took those out and tarped that up. All of our broken windows are boarded up. We had to secure all of our cars because they had windows that were blown out."
Dow says they’re now working to get all valuables out of the home as a precaution.
"I’m just concerned of their being more damage and more and more loss on top of what there already has been," she said. "Then I’m also concerned for other neighbors as well who haven’t secured their homes because there is going to be more damage to our community with this rain coming, there’s no doubt."
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While work continues for these neighbors, FEMA in conjunction with state and local agencies were out surveying the damage to see if the aftermath meets the standard of a federal disaster declaration.
"What you’ve seen out here on the street is very substantial, some damage behind me, roofing damage that is moderate to severe. It’s just very important for individuals to follow safety precautions, to listen to their state and local emergency managers and to heed instructions as we have more severe weather coming through."
These communities won’t know if federal help will be available until the FEMA assessment is complete as there are certain thresholds on dollar amount of damage and number of homes affected that need to be met.
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The Dow family says they’re thankful to see the presence of government agencies, but it’s the help from their fellow neighbors that means the most.
"We just picked up free breakfast, people bringing us hot meals, people bringing us water, cleaning supplies," she said. "I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’m just standing out here raking, and there’s people coming up and just saying, ‘can we help?’ And they grab a shovel, and they do it with us."