Storm prompts power outages, road, and school closures in Deer Park

Briana Conner Image
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
25-30 Deer Park homes, businesses significantly damaged, mayor says
Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton said 25 to 30 structures were damaged from Tuesday's tornado emergency.

DEER PARK, Texas (KTRK) -- By 2:49 p.m., the worst of Tuesday's storm was hitting Deer Park. The mayor said everyone is safe and accounted for, but there is significant property damage.

Most everyone in Deer Park will have to deal with road closures over the next few days. About 30 streets were blocked by tree limbs or power lines. That also meant people were being asked to be patient as CenterPoint Energy worked to turn the lights back on.

The mayor said the outages are the main reason Deer Park Independent School District campuses will be closed Wednesday.

SEE ALSO: Houston-area school and college closings and delays

"There was probably, a whole bunch, 200 parents there trying to get their kids," Kathie Underwood, who lives near San Jacinto Elementary School, said.

Several bikes were left behind on campus, where parents came to pick up their kids in person. They trusted that teachers kept them safe during the storm.

"We had to go into the music teacher's room," Addison Trusty, a student, said. "Miss Anderson's room had a lot of windows, and we thought all the windows would break. A lot of kids were crying. Trees were knocked down. Some tiles were knocked down. A lot of stuff was torn apart."

Trusty safely reunited with her sister, Jessica, and their dad in their neighborhood off Luella and Phyllis streets. It was one of the hardest hit areas in Deer Park.

"We knew a tornado was coming through," Addison's dad, Todd Trusty, said. "The house was shaking. We're very lucky the house is where it is. When we came outside, we saw this. So, we're very fortunate."

WATCH: Elementary school student describes sheltering from the tornado

Addison recalled how teachers helped usher students to safety during the storm.

He added that all of his neighbors and their pets were OK, but their homes were included in the 25 to 30 structures that Mayor Jerry Mouton said have significant damage across the city.

"I'm just grateful to God that He was able to protect life. We'll deal with the property and we will recover and rebuild," Mouton said.

The mayor also said the biggest issue moving forward will be getting the lights back on, because several poles and lines were no match for mother nature.

SEE ALSO: Tornado relief needs: Where to find shelter, meals in storm's wake

"I've never seen anything like this before," Michelle Gutierrez, who grew up in Deer Park, said.

"Whatever it was, it did some damage," Patrick Hollenbach, a storm chaser, added.

Assessments and repair work started immediately after the storm. Recovery was expected to say a few days for some and possibly months for others.

SEE ALSO: ABC13 viewers capture Houston's unfolding severe weather Tuesday

An ABC13 Weather Alert Day was issued for what has become an eventful and potentially life-threatening storm pushing into southeast Texas.

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