Reporting Robbie Owens
WEST (CBS 11 NEWS) - In West, there are still too many questions, too much work, and too much worry for the devastated city to stop moving—even to mourn. Still, that’s exactly what happened at many local businesses Thursday.
“West has been so good to us, we’re doing everything we can to support them,” said Gary Kinslow, part owner of the West SONIC restaurant.
The local restaurant was one of several businesses that closed up early on Thursday to allow employees to attend a memorial service in Waco to honor the 12 first responders killed in the fertilizer plant explosion last week.
“It’s terrible, it’s just tragic, and our hearts are broken for all the families,” said Kinslow. “Our hearts go out to them and our prayers … and we’re just doing all we can to support the people.”
President Obama toured the devastation from the air en route to the memorial. But, many of those who lived closest to the plant are still waiting to see what, if anything is left.
“I keep saying I’m in limbo because I just don’t know,” says Paula Kapavnik. “I mean, if I see it, I’m sure I’ll be overwhelmed. Right now, it’s just a waiting game.”
Kapavnik lived just blocks from the fertilizer plant. Her family escaped with their lives, but little else. Still she is anxious to see what remains.
“I just remember that all of the windows were all blown out and the house looked a little out of kilter.”
Kapavnik was one of dozens of residents whose homes are in the hardest hit Zone 3. Many of those homeowners lined up at the city’s library today to allow police to record names and license plate numbers in preparation for re-entry. City officials are not making any promises, but hope to allow homeowners access by this weekend.
“I understand. They want us to be safe. They want everything else to be safe. They’ve told us and encouraged us to be patient and that’s all we can really do is just be patient.”
In addition to patience, many homeowners told us that the other thing they need—is prayer.
Roxanne Stoker’s son lost his home in the explosion—just three weeks after moving in. Still, he is taking the loss in stride.
“I think, for him, he’s just so glad to have the girls safe and okay,” says Stoker. “Everything else is second. He knows it’s going to be there. He might not get anything. But, he can start over if he has to. He’s got the girls… and he’s fine.”
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