Residents in two northwest Houston neighborhoods are starting to clean up the damage to their homes after a manufacturing plant exploded there early Friday morning. The blast at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing killed two people and injured nearly 20 others. It also damaged more than 200 homes, a few dozen of which are now uninhabitable
Houston Chronicle environmental reporter Perla Trevizo visited the area over the weekend. It is a mix of residential and industrial buildings, and a diverse community of people from Mexico, Vietnam, Korea and more, many of whom have lived in the neighborhood for 15-20 years. Some are also transplants from other Houston neighborhoods flooded during past hurricanes.
“A lot of them were still in shock,” Trevizo says. “They had seen the mess that this blast had left the night before and then coming back and seeing that again in broad daylight once more, and [they were] just kind of unsure of what was gonna happen next.”
She says some have insurance, some don’t. Some had paid off their “dream home,” while others were renting.
About 100 volunteers came to help with the cleanup on Saturday, including member of the Restoration Team – a network of church groups that helps with disaster recovery and provides spiritual and emotional support for victims.
Officials are still investigating the cause of the explosion.
Written by Caroline Covington.