PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- City officials in Pasadena and Deer Park are issuing updates as residents work towards recovery following Tuesday's destructive thunderstorms and tornadoes.
According to CenterPoint Energy's tracker, there were still about 10,000 customers without power as of 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Over 217,000 customers have had their power restored in the 24 hours following the storm, according to the company.
"Our biggest challenge is getting power restored," Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton Jr. said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
CenterPoint said its transmission feed was damaged. AT&T crews brought in a temporary cell tower to replace the one that was destroyed.
CenterPoint has over 300 trucks in Pasadena and Deer Park working to restore power, according to Pasadena officials.
"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," said Colby Gravatt, director of electric operations for CenterPoint Energy.
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.
People living in Pasadena's Parkgate neighborhood, one of the hardest hit areas by Tuesday's tornadoes, still have no power as of Wednesday evening. Brenda Raya said the back end of her mother-in-law's house is completely destroyed, so they took her back to stay with them in League City.
"She's a senior citizen and she's alone. Being it was cold, no power, no heat, there was no option for her to stay here," said Raya. "Yesterday, we were in shock. But when we came back today, it's like reality set in and it's just nerve rattling."
Depending on the damage, CenterPoint said some customers may need to make repairs to their customer-owned equipment before they can receive electric service. The company advises that before you clean up debris, call 811 to locate underground utility lines.
The power company said they expect to have the majority of remaining power outages restored by the end of Thursday.
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.
Disaster relief shelters
As crews work to restore power, it's going to be another tough day for families impacted by the tornado.
"It was really hard to keep warm while it was cold," Ali Rahman, whose family was among those affected, said.
"We couldn't really feed anybody," Mike Rahman, Ali's brother, added, "Not only that, the stores were shut down. The fast food places were shut down. We didn't really get no food."
People who have had their power come back are expressing gratitude and encouragement for the linesmen and engineers. Caroline West is a first responder, herself.
"I know whenever I deal with disasters, I have to keep pushing through. So, keep pushing. Everything will be OK," West said.
The Texas Gulf Coast Red Cross says it's working with emergency managers and community partners to help those impacted by the storm.
Many families slept in shelters overnight, including a shelter the American Red Cross opened at the Baker Ripley building in Pasadena. In an update Wednesday afternoon, officials said the Baker Ripley shelter is almost full.
Residents in need are encouraged to go to the Memorial Baptist Church shelter at 6901 Fairmont Parkway instead.
The church is providing shelter, showers, food, water and clean up crews for those in need.
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.
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.
Street closures and repairs
People in the Deer Park area are being asked to stay home on Wednesday as crews work to clear about 30 roads blocked by fallen limbs or power lines.
The north and southbound lanes at Center Street and P Street are still closed for repairs, Deer Park officials said.
Deer Park Sanitation crews are in the process of surveying the city and picking up limbs and vegetative debris. Residents are asked to have tree limbs cut no larger than 6-foot sections.
Officials said crews will make a second pass later on Wednesday to pick up heavy trash.
No household trash is being collected on Wednesday, officials said.
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.