Austin volunteer: West "most incredible community I’ve ever met"


by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @KrisB_KVUE

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 26 at 7:40 AM

WEST, Texas -- Carrying the president after the memorial in Waco, Marine One flew over the damage in West one last time Thursday evening.

Below, “X” markings appear on house after house damaged in last week's blast, and garage doors lay mangled on their sides.

“There’s still a lot of fear and unknown,” said Recovery Coordinator Michael Lynn, or “Mickey” as he’s known around town.

Lynn, who lives in Austin, was driving through West on the interstate when he saw the explosion. He stopped to help and hasn't left since, sleeping in the back of his truck and helping wherever he can.

Why does he do it? Because he says West is, "The most incredible community I’ve ever met."

Thursday and Friday, homeowners must wait in line to file paperwork to get back into their homes.

“You can only stay with your friends for so long, there's just the reality of humanity that you gotta get back, and that's what they're working on,” said Lynn.

Despite the loss, however, the people of West continue to do what they've always done: Work together.

“We've had people that have lost their house, and they're still here that day volunteering,” Lynn told KVUE.

At the memorial, President Barack Obama put it best when he said “what makes West so special is not going to go away. And instead of changing who you are, this tragedy has revealed who you have always been."

“The first night not one shelter was needed, not one bed was needed. The whole community took half the community in,” Lynn said.

Now, that community is anxious to rebuild and finally get back home.