PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- Deer Park looked hopeful Thursday morning after our ABC13 crew saw less broken power poles on the roads.
After a tornado, which is preliminarily rated as an EF3, there were about 200,000 people without power. On Thursday, there are less than 5,000 still in the dark.
In Thursday's press conference, Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton Jr. urged residents to scan a QR code provided on the city's website and enter their information for assessing damage.
Mouton also said the city is waiving all permit fees in regards to storm restoration.
CenterPoint Energy said there are about 325 crews that have been working nearly nonstop to get this done. If you are one of the thousands of people heading into day three without power, and you just want to know when it's coming back on, especially with how chilly it's been overnight and in the early mornings, CenterPoint projects everyone's power will be restored by Sunday.
"I am projecting that by the end of day Friday, we will have the bulk of our customers back online and having service. Unfortunately, there are some pockets with extremely heavy damage, to not only our facilities but residents and businesses in the vicinity, and so we will have some things that we will continue to work on probably over Saturday and potentially into Sunday," Colby Gravatt, the director of electric operations with CenterPoint Energy, said.
Gravatt explained the complication of the work they've had to do. Some of CenterPoint's facilities also suffered damage. They've had to deploy resources to assess the destruction and use that information to create the most efficient plan to tackle these outages. Crews have had to construct new lines for certain areas with severe devastation.
So far, CenterPoint has had to replace about 150 damaged power poles in the Deer Park and Pasadena areas.
"The destruction is equal to what you might see in a hurricane, only not nearly as widespread. The wind that came with this tornado is something that we haven't seen in probably a really long time. I don't know the last time we had a named tornado or a tornado that was deemed with such impact to our territory," he said.
Remember to always stay at least 35 feet away from downed power lines and report them to CenterPoint at (713) 207-2222. For the latest information, you can visit the company's power outage tracker.
The Texas Gulf Coast Red Cross says it's working with emergency managers and community partners to help those impacted by the storm.
Residents in need are encouraged to go to a new shelter open Thursday morning in Pasadena.
Red Cross volunteers prepped a room at Revive Church to take in as many as 150 people. The Red Cross says it was forced to open a second location after it saw an overflow of need at the Baker Ripley shelter.
Anyone interested in donating items to assist those impacted by the severe weather are encouraged to get in contact with local disaster relief organizations such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Texas Baptist Men Feeding Organization, Adventist Community Services and Second Harvest Food Banks.
Officials said cash is the best contribution since items can be purchased within the affected areas to meet the specific needs of victims.
The City of Deer Park is not accepting any donations directly, including monetary donations.
"The city is not in a position where it's accepting donations," Mouton said in Thursday's press conference.
Pasadena officials said anyone wanting to make donations to the animal shelter can get in contact with Asbury Methodist Church. Monetary donations can also be made directly to the shelter via the city's website.
Deer Park Sanitation crews are in the process of surveying the city and picking up tree limbs and vegetative debris. Residents are asked to have limbs cut no larger than 6-foot sections.
Residents are asked to make sure vehicles don't block debris piles so sanitation trucks can have easy access.
The Deer Park Post Office on San Augustine Street is closed due to damage caused by the tornado.
All operations at the Pasadena Delbert L. Atkinson Post Office have also been temporarily suspended for repairs caused by the storm.
All P.O. Box operations and pickups for both closed locations will be handled at the Pasadena Main Post Office located at 1199 Pasadena Blvd. until further notice, officials said.
Residents are encouraged to visit alternative Pasadena and Houston-area post office locations for all mail needs.