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Recovery In West Continues Four Months Later

By: Nichole Perez Email
By: Nichole Perez Email

WEST (August 17, 2013) -- Saturday marked four months since the deadly explosion in West and residents are still dealing with the day-to-day grind of recovery.

Sandra Daily, who's lived in West for more than 40 years says it's something she never imagined experiencing especially on her own.

The retired nurse owned three homes on her piece of land off of Marable Street.

The one she lived in with her husband before he died a few years ago, was heavily damaged by the explosion and had to be demolished.

She says they condemned all three of her houses but she only had one demolished because she needed a place to live.

Sandra has decided to move into her house next door where her mother-in-law used to live and use the other house as storage.

After the explosion, with little help, she began removing everything from each house and putting it in her front yard.

She also began repairing the damages in that home.

Most days she worked by herself moving large pieces of furniture in the 100 degree Texas heat.

She's been staying at both her son's house in Leroy and her sister's house in Mount Calm.

On one occasion she says she spent the night in her truck parked in her driveway with no gas money to drive to a family member's house.

"It's costly and I'm just determined to get a place to stay to get back on my own," says Sandra.

She's been denied money from her home insurance and aid from FEMA, saying she makes too much money to qualify.

She also wasn't able to take out a loan to pay off her third home because she didn't make enough money.

Sandra says she hasn't worked since her husband died and is living on disability right now.

Once word spread about her situation, residents of West jumped in to help.

Her friend Carol Waddell, an old coworker of hers, rallied together volunteers to help Sandra with physical labor today.

"I was amazed at everything she had done but it was just such an overwhelming job to try to tackle on her own," says Carol.

She brought in volunteers from Mercury One Waco and a youth group from the First Christian Church in Longview, Texas.

They helped Sandra sort through all of her belongings, installed donated appliances from the Church of Christ and redecorated some of the inside of her house.

She's hoping to move in by the end of the month.


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