West homeowners still unable to enter their homes


by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalist SCOTT McKENNEY

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE


Posted on April 19, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 19 at 7:19 PM

WEST, Texas -- Smoldering pieces of metal and scraps that where thrown into a field are reminders of the explosion that has scarred the little Texas town of West.

"The whole yard shook. I mean your eyeballs shook. I mean it was just horrible. I never, hope I never see anything else like it, but it was just definitely like an atomic bomb," said Debbie Polansky who has lived in West all her life.

Texas State University student April Puckett was in San Marcos when she learned what happened to her home town. She rushed to be with her mother and sister who live just a half mile away from the plant.

Friday, they were finally able to go back into their home.

"It knocked all of these windows out. We had two big stain glass panels right here. It threw those completely across the room. It knocked all these windows out," said Puckett as she showed her home to KVUE News. "There's actually a piece of glass embedded in the wall right here when my family was only sitting right here."

Former McLennan County Commissioner Joe Mashek isn't sure what has become of his family home.

"My family home is just about 40 yards and I'm just really anxious," Mashek said as he looked at the home from afar. 

Mashek was told his home is still standing, but it could be a week to 10 days before he's allowed back inside.

"I just feel sadness. It's tough on a small town like West, which is a great town, to see people displaced, their homes destroyed," Mashek said. 

Still, the people of West say they will come back stronger.

"I've lost good friends. The firemen, some of the firemen, a couple of them I've coached in football when they were in grade school. So it's tough, it is. But we'll come together. We'll get through this," said Mashek. 

The people of West will wipe their tears, board up their homes, rebuild and restore their little town.

News Video
More Video