2 weeks after deadly EF-3 tornado ripped through Onalaska, community still reeling

Two weeks after deadly tornado rips through Onalaska, community still struggling

ONALASKA, Texas – The Onalaska community is still reeling from the devastation caused by an EF-3 tornado that touched down and destroyed several neighborhoods on April 22.

“It’s been two weeks and every time we pull up it’s a different flood of emotions,” said resident Debbie Robins.

Robins said she was home when the tornado hit and only had a few seconds to find shelter.

“We don’t know where the roof is. I think it went into a bunch of pieces. We’ve looked all over the neighborhood,” Robins said.

Her family was spared injuries or death but others weren’t so lucky.

Polk County officials said three people died and 57 others were injured.

Onalaska Assistant fire Chief TD Jennings was working the night the tornado hit and gave KPRC 2 a look at some of the hardest-hit areas in the Yaupon Cove subdivision.

“It didn’t matter you lived in a million-dollar home or a $20,000 home, it was going to take it out,” Jennings said.

A total of 806 homes were damaged and 230 were completely destroyed.

Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy said 20% to 30% of residents don’t have insurance.

The American Red Cross is providing housing for 170 people, but that won’t last forever.

Officials asking anyone who can donate their time or money to please call the city of Onalaska or Polk County Emergency Management at (936) 327-6826.

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