ONALASKA, Texas (KTRE) - It has now been over two months since a tornado tore through Polk County. It was later rated as an EF-3 tornado, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Now, an Onalaska family is still working to put the pieces back together.
The recovery process for the Warta family has not been easy.
“You didn’t really sleep. You didn’t really eat. Trying to get back to a normal life is a struggle,” said Becky Warta. “We made out better than some people did, but it is very stressful. Your tensions are high and you’re wondering ‘how are we going to do this.”
Warta said it is a daily reminder of things they have to keep battling.
“You see trucks running in and out of here all day long, because there is a lot of debris still left,” Warta said. “We still have a few pieces on the side of the house that need to be fixed, but the major project is going to be in the back. The entire ceiling is out. I mean you can look up and see the roof.”
Although there is more work to be done, she said the Onalaska community is strong.
“It is amazing to see the love and the care out here. And they are still giving it. There is still people driving through asking if you need water, if you need food, or any help at all,” Warta said. “But it is never going to look the same. Nobody is ever going to look at this place as it was before. Every time you look at it, you are going to think, ‘That is where that tornado went through and that is where all that damage happened.’ But yet, not enough damage for FEMA or Red Cross to help anybody.”
Overall, the Warta family is trying to remain positive.
“Don’t look at the material things,” Warta said. “Look at what you have. Look at the family that you have and look at the support that you have.”
The tornado touched down on April 22, on the west coast of Lake Livingston in San Jacinto County and moved into Polk County, causing three deaths and 33 injuries. The storm also destroyed at least 173 homes and damaged at least 306 others.