Joint disaster recovery center opens in Pasadena for residents affected by historic EF3 tornado

Erica Simon Image
Saturday, January 28, 2023
Joint disaster assistance recovery center opens in Pasadena
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"We're trying to make it as easy as possible to get the benefits, and get back to normal," the Mayor of Pasadena, Jeff Wagner, said.

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- More help has arrived for storm-ravaged neighbors in Deer Park and Pasadena. The Joint Disaster Assistance Recovery Center has opened at Pasadena Convention Center to provide a central resource hub as locals pick up the pieces from this week's tornadoes.

Emily Rosalez was first in line Friday when the doors of the Pasadena Convention Center opened.

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"We came here today to see what kind of resources we can get, and we came as a community," she said.

This has been the worst week of their lives for Rosalez and her neighbors. Most only had minutes to spare before the tornado hit.

"All you heard was just the house just shaking and the windows, then you heard explosions, boom, boom, boom," Rosalez continued.

The mayors of Deer Park and Pasadena teamed up with various agencies to make the Joint Disaster Assistance Recovery Center happen. There are people on hand who can physically help people submit damage claims and walk them through the next steps.

RELATED: Tornado in Pasadena, Deer Park preliminarily rated as EF3, NWS confirms

Local leaders say that is the first step. They are getting accurate assessments from the state and FEMA, who've asked for data on the damaged sustained.

More than 200 structures were impacted, and more than 180 were damaged in some way in Deer Park.

"We're trying to make it as easy as possible to get the benefits, the care that everyone needs to get their lives-I hate to use the word normal, but back to their normal. And we're going to do that. And again, this center here helps with the information and direction that's needed to get our citizens on the right path," Jeff Wagner, the mayor of Pasadena, said.

FEMA and other officials will be on the ground Saturday to assess the damage. Once they know precisely what they're working with and get the documentation and assessments from locals, they'll be able to move forward.

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