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Monday, April 22, 2013

West, Texas, You Are In Our Thoughts- Information On How To Help

By Susan Duclos

With the Boston Marathon bombing, the hunt for the suspects, the violence filled night before a daylong manhunt, the death of one of the suspected bombers and the capture of the other, the town of West, Texas has gotten far less attention.

14 dead, many of which first responders and 200 injured after Central Texas fertilizer plant explosion which took out a significant portion of the 2,800-person town of West.

"The devastation is immense," said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott of West, Texas, while another official added, "There are homes flattened. Part of that community is gone."

The explosion occurred around 8 p.m.  Wednesday and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, a town 45 miles north. Flames spiraled into the evening sky and rained burning embers, shrapnel and debris down on frightened residents.

A member of the West City Council, Al Vanek, said a four-block area around the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. Plant was "totally decimated."

The Dallas Morning News reported that among the dead were at least 11 emergency responders, three of whom were training at the time of the blast to become EMTs. They valiantly rushed to the growing smoke plume that could be seen for miles around the small community of 2,800 people. It would be, as the paper said, "their last call."

"We know everyone that was there first," said Christina Rodarte, 46, a West resident of 27 years. "There's no words for it. It is a small community, and everyone knows the first responders… all volunteer."

The devastation is massive and in a town the size of West, Texas, the loss of live, the injuries, the loss of property, homes and possessions, will touch the lives of almost every person living there.

You have not been forgotten and our thoughts and prayers are with you West, Texas.

A Helping Hand

Via Your Houston News:

As the recovery continues, displaced residents are in need of food and shelter.

The following locations are accepting donations:

• Cypress Woods High School is accepting donations through Friday in the FFA garage at the school, located at 13550 Woods Spillane Blvd. in Cypress. Acceptable items include bottled water, personal products and snacks.

• At Eiland Elementary in Klein ISD, students are collecting medical supplies for the residents of West Monday, April 22 – Friday, April 26. Items they need include Band-Aids, alcohol, peroxide, triple antibiotic ointment, cotton balls, ziploc bags, pain and fever reducing medications, Ace bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, paper bags, salt and snack bars.

• The radio station, KRBE, will be holding a donation drive at Fingers Furniture in Willowbrook from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday, April 19 at 17355 Tomball Parkway. The furniture store will continue to accept donations through the weekend. The station is accepting water, sports drinks, toiletries, and non-perishable goods as well as monetary donations for the American Red Cross West, Texas Disaster Fund.

• Producer Eric with KRBE will be accepting cash donations for the Red Cross fund April 20 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at First Choice ER, located at 9740 Baker Cypress in Cypress.

• Gallery Furniture is taking cash donations as well as Red Cross approved items through the weekend until 10 p.m. Sunday at the store located at 6006 N Freeway. Approved items include water, Gatorade, energy bars, snacks, clothing, blankets, air mattresses, toiletries, diapers for children and adults, formula, bottles, toys, peroxide, disinfectant alcohol and medical supplies.

• Various Kroger locations will also accept cash donations for the Red Cross through April.

Monetary donations for the the American Red Cross West, Texas Disaster Fund can also be made online at or by texting RED CROSS to 90999 to donate $10.