DEER PARK, Texas – Parts of Pasadena and Deer Park Texas are still rebuilding after a tornado ripped through the area in January.
Janet Martinez and Clara Monroe have relocated their business, JCM Counseling, after their facility was destroyed. It’s a day that’s hard for them to forget.
“January 24th, it was a Tuesday,” Martinez said while describing the traumatic event. “I will never forget that date for as long as I live.”
The women were both in therapy sessions with clients when the storm hit.
“The alarms started going off and she (Janet) was like, ‘Clara we need to go,’” Monroe said.
The group found shelter in the office bathroom.
The damage they discovered when they walked out was devastating.
“It looked like a bomb had went off,” Monroe explained.
In under a minute, the twister changed their lives.
They lost almost everything. To bounce back, the counselors have practiced what they preach.
“I have used all the strategies that I recommend for my clients. I’ve done my own therapy with my therapist, Kayla,” Janet said.
There have been some tough moments.
“You have the nightmares you have the shaking at inappropriate times when you start thinking about it,” Martinez explained.
The two have also learned some lessons. They didn’t have insurance when the tornado happened.
“I got myself some life insurance and some insurance for the office immediately after that,” Martinez said,
Martinez and Monroe used their own money to replace most of what they lost. They also received donations from the community and some financial loans. On March 5, the two moved into their new office down the street from their first location on Center Street in Deer Park. There’s more furniture that must be added and new supplies that must be bought, but they say things are getting better.
“I love the new space. I love everything about it, but it will take time for it to feel like home again,” Martinez said.
The two counselors know from their professional experience that brighter days are ahead.
“I would like people to know that all of us have the ability to recover. There is always hope. I just cannot wait to see where the future takes us,” Martinez said.
Martinez and Monroe say they are still waiting and hoping for state or federal assistance.